Her Time Interning at the White House
Two of our top students, Aaliyah Tabor, a senior political science major with a Chinese minor from Johnson High School, and Taylor Mullikin, a senior political science major with a pre-law concentration from Jefferson High School, spent their Spring 2023 semester doing something only a few UNG students have had the opportunity to do — work as an intern at the White House.
We introduced you to Aaliyah and Taylor and discussed their then upcoming internship this past January. We recently caught up with Aaliyah following her return from our nation’s capital to find out how it went.
Aaliyah Tabor, ‘23
After spending 4 months up in Washington D.C. working in the White House alongside some of the best students from across the country, Aaliyah summed up her experience by saying that “it was an honor [to be selected and participate] … overall it was really amazing [and] really fun.” She admits that early on she “was feeling really homesick and dealing with a lot of imposter syndrome, [wondering if] I should even be here, [because] a lot of these kids are from Harvard and Yale, and doing all these amazing things, and I’m just from Georgia.” However, as her time interning in the White House went on Aaliyah passed that initial “hump,” and began to gain more confidence in herself and her intern position at the White House.
Aaliyah said that while this internship opportunity in the White House, “sealed the deal — I do not want to do straight [political work]”, I really liked the project management aspect of things. I didn’t think I would like [the project management aspect], and it is something] I could possibly have future in.”
Aaliyah worked in the Facilities Management Division within the Executive Office of the President, which according to Aaliyah, focused on facilities, construction, operations, and interior design. Aaliyah performed myriad duties, duties that changed day to day, ranging from assisting the interior design team with space planning to helping Division personnel with specific facilities maintenance tasks. While interning within the Executive Office of the President, Aaliyah learned that “if you’re not on top of it or ahead of it, you’re behind it…[and] I learned a lot [about] multitasking and…. tracking a bunch of things.”
Aaliyah said she is “super grateful they [the White House] took a chance on me, [and] I learned a bunch.” Personally, this internship opportunity provided Aaliyah with more confidence. “When I went there in January, I was feeling very underprepared…, by the time I left, about 2 weeks ago, I felt much more confident in my craft and what I can bring to the table. [I realized] I might not be Harvard graduate or an inventor or CEO of a nonprofit, but I have my own strengths and I have my own skills and I know how to use them”
Aaliyah’s advice to current UNG PSIA students: Regarding internships “I have been looking for an internship for…the past 3 years. It is not easy at all [to find an internship], but I would say… don’t get discouraged.”
Aaliyah’s advice to prospective UNG students: “Don’t get tunnel vision in what you want to do so badly, especially with PSIA students, a lot of my peers come in saying I’m going to the State Department, I’m going to be a lawyer, I’m going to be an FSO, and they miss out on other avenues they can go and other opportunities they can do.”
“I remember Dr. Armstrong-Williams, it was like the first week of class and she just said don’t say no to anything, always say yes to stuff, even if it’s perhaps something you’re completely not interested in — just go for it because you never know!”
Our congratulations to both Aaliyah and Taylor for a job well done, and for joining a long line of OUSTANDING representatives of both UNG and the entire #PSIAfamily!
[Author: Orla Fennell IA’23]