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Senior to Work in the White House

Sarah Gelinas ’04

Until recently, Sarah Gelinas ’04 had been expecting to spend her final semester at Smith planning and preparing to graduate in May.

Her graduation plans will be delayed.

Instead, Gelinas will head to Washington, D.C., for the spring semester, where she will work as a White House intern in the office of Karl Rove, senior advisor to President George W. Bush.

Specifically, Gelinas will be assigned to the Office of Strategic Initiatives, an administrative division that determines policy and strategic moves for the presidency. “I will be working on three big research projects,” Gelinas says. “I’m sure they will be campaign projects, since that is what next year will be all about.”

Gelinas has been active in organizations such as the World Affairs Council and Model United Nations since high school, and currently serves as president of Smith’s World Affairs Council, a position that led her to the White House internship.

“When I was at McGill University last winter for the Model UN I met a friend who had had a summer internship in Mister Rove’s office,” she explains. This fall, the Office of Strategic Initiatives asked Gelinas’ friend to suggest an intern and Gelinas’ name and information was offered. “I faxed my résumé and heard back from them the same day,” she says. “It happened very quickly.”

After her internship, Gelinas will return to Smith next fall to finish her degree. She plans to attend law school eventually, and to stay involved in government and politics, although she is torn between domestic and international affairs.

Gelinas hopes her White House experience allows her “to witness firsthand the sector in the heart of American government that has a lot to do with actual policy making.”

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