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La Salle News

July 5, 2012

La Salle University Graduate Queen Muse’s Excellent Washington, D.C. Adventure: From White House Intern to PR Specialist at Department of Interior

La Salle University’s Queen Muse didn’t have to pack everything she brought with her to Washington D.C. when she began her internship at the White House in January: shortly after she finished working there, she was hired by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

“I’ll be working as a Press Assistant for the Office of the Secretary, Office of Communications. I’ll be assisting with response to press inquiries, and helping with press releases and media advisories,” said Muse, who graduated in May from La Salle with a B.A. in Communication.

“I never imagined I would end up interning at the White House, let alone, working for a major Department of the U.S. government,” said Muse. “But through my experiences at La Salle, I’ve learned that communication is an amazing transferrable skill. If you master it, you can make career shifts, as I have, and still be effective.”

“I thought it would be weird to see things from the PR side after having been a journalist. It’s not as weird as I thought it would be. I think I appreciate the relationship between press and PR more because I understand what each side is trying to achieve,” she said.

In January, Muse began her White House internship, working in its Office of Communications. Towards the end of that experience, she started looking for work. “My (White House) supervisors there were helpful with providing recommendations and feedback on how to update my resume,” said Muse. “My resume turned up at Interior. After several interviews, they decided I was the right one for the job.”

“It all happened very quickly,” she said. “I finished the internship May 18 and took two weeks off to relax before starting the job on June 4. But clearly, not even a week into the internship, I knew I wanted to move to DC. It was just something about being surrounded by so many ambitious young people; I just felt I needed to be here, among these people, in this aura of ambition, at this time.”

She had to undergo several background checks that took several weeks before she could start at the Interior Department. “But according to what I’ve heard, my process wrapped up fairly swift compared to others’ experiences; I hear these things can take a long time,” she said.

In her first few weeks on the job, Muse said getting to work with the department’s staff has been her most interesting experience. “I think the most important component of any job is your relationship with the people you work with. It is very much like family here, and they have welcomed me into the fold,” she said. “The other cool thing is that my office is only a few blocks from where I used to work at the White House, so I still run into my old colleagues during lunch hours because we all have to eat!”

“Students pursuing communication should be open to going where the career leads. That dream job in communications might not be in your city; it might be two states over, or clear across the country,” she said. “Roll with the punches!”