From the Trenches: Tales from the Capital

by Adam Portoghese
Intern with mCapitol Management – Washington, D.C.

This summer, the Pendulum News Blog will bring you reports “From the Trenches:Reflections on Interning” for Elon University Students to share their experiences interning in various professional industries. Spending the summer working in an unfamiliar environment can be frightening, challenging, overwhelming but, very often, incredibly rewarding. We want to share YOUR stories of overcoming fear and achieving success. 

If I have not told you, I love my job. After clearing out an office we, the interns at mCapitol Management, ransacked all of the art work and decorations and put them in our office area. I now have a plane, which I am currently trying to suspend from the ceiling, and several vases in addition to an easel for any future art activities. A plethora of African artwork and sculptures now surrounds me as if I am working at a Smithsonian Museum, but I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.

But make no mistake–I have come to DC to learn. I am currently doing what Elon affectionately calls “experiential learning.” Through Elon’s partnership with The Washington Center, I was assigned an internship based on my specific interests. Being a Political Science and History major, I wanted to work with the government or something associated with the government process. After several interviews I selected mCapitol Management, which is a government relations firm.

For those of you who do not know what “government relations” means, it is basically the nicest way possible to say lobbyist. At mCapitol, I assist in research focusing on defense programs and surface transportation. I attend committee hearings and write up reports for the legislative assistants at my office which are then forwarded onto clients or higher-ups. I have, on occasion, preformed the typical tasks of the intern, such as getting coffee, making copies, or making deliveries around DC. But the experience has been wonderful. I could not have lucked out more with my internship, and not only because of the amount I have learned, but because of the people I have met. I am confident that this experience will help with my career search after Elon, and if I am allowed to offer advice it would be to get to DC as soon as you can.

Adam Portoghese is a senior at Elon University and is double majoring in International Political Science and History, with a focus on American Military History. He is president of Alpha Phi Omega and is a  officer for Elon’s Men Club Volleyball team.

Do you have any interesting internship stories you’d like to share? The Pendulum News Blog is looking to share YOUR experiences, from within any professional industry, with the Elon community. Send an email to Caitlin O’Donnell ( & Kassondra Cloos ( to find out how to become involved. 


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