April 28, 2020 : By Natalie Dyess - Liberty University News Service
Facing challenges is a hallmark of being a Champion for Christ. Working as an intern in Washington, D.C., in the midst of a pandemic has certainly created a lot of challenges but also opportunities for growth for Brianna Tibbetts, a Liberty University politics and policy student interning in the office of U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) through the university’s Washington Fellowship.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Tibbetts has transitioned to working remotely, and her regular responsibilities of researching issues, helping with constituents’ requests, and assisting staff members are now being carried out in a more digital and telecommuting format. Using this format, Tibbetts is active on several specific policy issues. She specifically requested or expressed interest in welfare reform and education and social issues in general, but has also been given several assignments having to do with pro-life and religious freedom issues.
Tibbetts’ enthusiasm for her job, whether in the physical office or from home, is apparent. While in Washington, she is using the experience to gain knowledge about government and politics on a national level and hopes to work in an entry-level staff position upon graduation. Besides her regular office responsibilities, Tibbetts has reached out to other staff members and is taking time to learn about their roles.
Tibbetts said her time at Liberty has prepared her for not only her current internship but also her future aspirations.
“The lifestyle Liberty encourages with servant leadership is important,” she said.
Back in her home state of Maine, Tibbetts received her associate’s degree in American history. She transferred to Liberty last fall and enjoyed her time on campus before moving to Washington, D.C., for the semester-long internship.
Before coming to Liberty, Tibbetts was active in local politics and hopes to one day work as a legislative aid in the areas of welfare reform or education.
When asked about her overall experience, Tibbetts responded, “Honestly, I’ve just loved this semester despite the pandemic. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some awesome people, make great friends, and have so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Being here makes me realize this is the next step God has for me, and I am praying He opens the door for me to stay in D.C.”
The Washington Fellowship places students in the heart of the nation’s capital in competitive internships that give them a professional edge before they graduate. Students live together in designated Liberty housing and take part in professional development and networking events as well as social activities. Besides Capitol Hill, students have worked with organizations and businesses such as Fox News and the National Park Service. The Fellowship is a part of Liberty’s Career Center, which has eight affiliation agreements with employers that specifically reserve spots for Liberty students.