The city and beyond
My second time in D.C. takes me back to the time when I first visited the city precisely ten years ago. The time when the weather was cold but my heart as immensely warm. I feel like the city hasn’t changed at all. Maybe, because the museums stayed in the same places?
Voila! After the three-hour ride, I had my tourist touch to the city before the internship experience, and I am glad that I did. I had almost two weeks before the start of my internship. It was a great idea since the early move-in allowed me to have some fun freely exploring the city and adjusting to getting around.
My squarish room in D.C. was nothing compared to my spacious room in Philly, but I was very grateful for the features and location of my place. I got a SmarTrip card to use for public transportation. However, I haven’t used it that much since I always biked to work even when it was raining or freezing. I have to admit that the very first thing when I moved and settled in D.C. was to look for a used bike on the internet. And, I found my priceless love for a very reasonable price. So I decided to stick to biking as I did in Philly.
There was no snow in D.C. this year although I was thinking, “Oh, let’s see how biking is going to work out when it starts snowing!” It was both fortunate and unfortunate for me not to witness snow in the city.
The internship and beyond
I don’t know how I manage to stay uncategorized as I have always been in my life. I guess I am the only IEDPer from my cohort having the Spring internship. My internship shift from Egypt to DC due to the visa issues was a tremendous one—very complicated but solvable and manageable through the support from Dr. GK and my Fulbright advisor. I was quite upset when I was not able to start my internship program in Egypt over the summer despite my eagerness and excitement to work in a field office. However, I was sure that the headquarter office experience would also give me valuable insights.
The green office in the heart of the city greeted me on January 6, 2020. That Monday morning, the Human Resources Generalist led the orientation for two other new employers and me, getting off to a fresh start in this international organization. We were also introduced to our dear fobs which provided access to the building, the elevator, and the gym. Imagine losing that! I didn’t have to imagine because I lost and found it the very first day, which taught me how to keep it safe as the apple of my eye.
The office was in proportion and in high spirits. Four IEDPers might be the compelling reason for that! Upon a week of my start day, Emi joined the crew by becoming an intern for an exchange program team. The office became more familiar and familial, then. Seeing another cozy element of the office, I was also happy to observe that many people were bringing their own lunch to eat in the kitchen. And, I was one of them. The only times that I ate out were special occasions once with my supervisor and others with my friends. My communication with my supervisor was mainly online as she was working remotely. One shiny moment when I met her in person was an event of the organization that made her fly to D.C. and I got to meet her in the flesh. That was also one of the rare moments I ate out as she took another colleague and me out for lunch.
Initially, I was not really excited to work in a headquarter office with the prejudice deep down but without the foresight that I would learn a bunch!