Highly involved English graduate brings enthusiasm to White House internship

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Christopher Bynoe ‘14 graduated from St. Edward’s University with a degree in English writing and rhetoric, a minor in communication and a long list of involvement with campus organizations. After graduation, he packed his bags and headed to Washington D.C. for a year-long internship at the White House.

How did you spend your four years at St. Edward’s University? And what are you doing now?

I tried to participate in campus activities as much as I could as that’s where I feel my St. Edward’s experience was made. I participated in Student Government, Hilltop Leadership Development, Campus Ministry Service Break Experiences, Tour Guides and the Black Student Association, and I worked with the Freshman Studies program and Residence Life. I am currently working as an associate in the Presidential Personnel Office at the White House.

I know you just finished up your internship at the White House. How did you hear about that internship, and what was the application process like?

I had known that the White House took interns for a while, but it wasn’t until my last semester that I mustered up the courage to apply. The application process was fairly extensive. I had to submit a policy memorandum, an essay, two letters of recommendation, a resume and complete an online questionnaire.

What did your average day look like while there?

I worked in the Media Affairs Office, and it was very fast paced. I spent a lot of time throughout the day assembling press clips related to administration policy and major national and international occurrences. These clips would then be distributed to senior officials throughout the White House including the communications director and the press secretary, helping to update them on the latest news before dealing with media outlets. I also took minutes on the daily morning cabinet agencies meeting, processed press credentials for reporters seeking entry into the White House, directed phone and email inquiries and helped to monitor coverage of White House policy roll-outs and events.

What was the most memorable moment from the entire experience?

I have two most memorable moments. The first was attending the post midterm election presidential press conference in the East Room, and the second was meeting and getting a hug from the first lady.

I understand that you have another internship in D.C. What will this internship entail, and what are you most excited for?

I am working as an administrative associate within the Presidential Personnel Office (PPO). We search through thousands of qualified candidates for administration-wide positions and advise the president on senior level department and agency appointments. In my position, I have been researching some of these potential candidates and assisting the other agency teams in running PPO. Looking forward, I am excited to observe how the administration handles governance during the final stages of this presidency as well as attending more cool White House events.

What would an ideal day look like for you, career wise?

A fast-paced and exciting work environment would be ideal. Long hours are okay as long I’m doing important work. I’d like to be constantly challenged and pushed to improve, yet be able to step back and truly appreciate what it is that I’m doing. This perspective is owed not only to my experiences at the White House, but to the first-rate education of both the heart and mind I received at St. Edward’s.

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