D.C. Interns "A Closer Look" - Crissta Morrison
Nov. 8, 2013
LCU Washington interns share thoughts and highlights of the experience of a lifetime
Lubbock Christian University proudly partners with The Washington Center in Washington, D.C. to offer internships to qualified students each semester. For the fall semester there are seven LCU students in D.C. for academic internships that will continue until the middle of December.
This group brings to 32 the number of students through the years (since 2005) to represent LCU in this program and the legacy of success is well documented. In fact, last month the university was recognized by The Washington Center as the "Private School of the Year." The award was presented at a luncheon for TWC Academic Awards that took place at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. The university and the award that was received was also featured in the program and announced at the annual gala at the National Building Museum.
As these students spend the semester in D.C. we want to share their experiences with our readers, so The DusterToday is presenting a series of Q&A features with each of our seven interns.
This week we would like to introduce you to Crissta Morrison, a senior from Lubbock (Frenship HS), who is one semester from graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Humanities. Crissta is doing her internship at the Americans for Prosperity Foundation and doing weekly classes on market-based management philosophy at the Charles Koch Institute. We had the opportunity to visit with her about the experience so far:
Duster: As you looked at the possibility of doing the D.C. internship, what were the major factors that prompted you to go for it and has it lived up to your expectations so far?
Crissta: I had known I wanted to come to DC for a year before actually packing up and flying off. I saw such an amazing opportunity to engage with people from all over the world with a wide range of interests, all convening in one place, and knew this was an opportunity I simply couldn't pass up! So far the experience has exceeded expectations. I have made lifelong friends from all over the world, gained skills and knowledge that I will carry with me the rest of my life, and lived in the nation's capital with all the amazing things that come with that. I walk past monuments on my way to work and I have met with people forming policy in my areas of interest, such as education reform. I have had the opportunity to speak with the president of the Koch Institutes, Richard Fink, and Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity. Both institutions are heavily involved in the Liberty movement, which is a movement that I am interested in following for a career path.
Duster: Tell us how your experience on the job has been thus far and about your job duties.
Crissta: I have had great experiences so far. I love the people I work with and we are very involved in promoting the ideals of economic freedom in America and the benefits this brings Americans who seek opportunity.
As far as my duties go, I work in the operations department. I work within the office to make sure the daily workings go smoothly. These responsibilities range from coding invoices, to writing budget proposals, to answering grassroots phone calls, to doing usual inter-office work like stocking paper and making sure coffee is always close on hand. Overall, I have had a great intern experience and would say 80 percent of my work is real and useful work. As for the other 20 percent, I enjoy the hands on work because it is the little things that help everyone else do what they need to do to advance the free market.
Duster: What are the major goals that you feel you would like to accomplish with regard to this internship and the overall D.C. experience?
Crissta: In The Washington Center experience, we create a portfolio to compile a business profile with samples from the work we have been involved with in DC. Part of this portfolio includes writing an IDP or Individual Development Plan. For my IDP this semester I made it a goal to sort out a potential career path to pursue after graduation. Through my internship I have hashed out which different departments within an organization might suit me best. I have found interest in events and development and would like to pursue something in those areas. I am also able to speak with people who are in places that I would potentially like to be one day and ask them how they got there and if they would recommend it to aspiring young professionals.
Duster: What is a timeline for your typical workday?
Crissta: I take the metro to my work every morning, and it usually includes running to catch my train. I spend my day at work doing various projects assigned to me. (Recently), I was uploading systems and programming the iPad mini's we send out to our field coordinators so they can do door-to-doors. The day before that I was writing the budget proposal for the internship program, so my days vary from day-to-day and I am always learning something new.
Duster: As for the "off-the-job" related part of this experience, are there some highlights of what you've been able to do and see in D.C. that you can share?
Crissta: The first week in DC I was able to go to a symphonic concert on the lawn in front of the Capital building. I also went to my first hockey game ... Go Caps! I frequent a hole-in-the-wall Chinese food place called Good Danny's, not to be confused with just Danny's, which is just down the road. There are always street festivals going on around the city that have music, art and food to entertain. I am completely in love with Old Town Alexandria and have been out there every weekend since discovering it. It is sprinkled with cute antique stores, bookshops, and vintage clothes stores, not to mention more restaurants than I can count. Saturday mornings I enjoy going to Eastern Market and seeing all the trinkets and knick-knacks that vendors bring out, accompanied with the great fresh foods markets that have free samples all along the way.
Duster: If you had to single out the most exciting thing about your time in D.C. so far, what would that be?
Crissta: I can't honestly say a single exciting thing, it has been the mixture of the experience that has allowed me to grow as a person and have all these new moments that I can carry with me for the rest of my life. I have made lifelong friends here, and that alone has been worth it. Of course, that's not the only thing, there are a million other things, but it would take much too long to try and map out them all.
Duster: Finally, in keeping with the LCU mantra of being the "life-changing university," can you see where this experience in D.C. will fit that bill for you personally?
Crissta: Oh, absolutely! There is nothing about this experience that hasn't been life changing in a positive way. I have grown stronger as a person and as a Christian and have been tackling really hard issues that, up to this point, I have withheld an opinion. I am finding where my beliefs and my ideals mix together and finding that balance of answers that fit my world-view and what I believe God to have in mind for me.
We want to wish Crissta and all of our current and future LCU Washington intern students the best of luck and a safe and happy experience. Thanks, also, to Dr. Stacy Patty, director of the LCU Washington program, for his guidance and leadership of these students.