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DRYDEN, N.Y. — An alum of Tompkins Cortland Community College just finished a most impressive internship. William Brown, a native of Cortland, is now a senior at Le Moyne College in Syracuse. He spent the Fall 2016 semester working as a White House Intern.
The White House Internship program is one of the most prestigious in the country. To get selected, Brown went through an extensive application and interview process. In the end, he was one of 166 selected out of around 6,000 applicants. His internship assignment was in the Office of Presidential Correspondence; more specifically, he was part of the emails team. Given his field of expertise as a finance and business analytics major at Le Moyne, Brown managed the economy portfolio. “Our role was to read and respond to all Americans writing President Obama through emails and Facebook. I also helped respond to high priority and sensitive correspondences, along with giving East Wing tours to letter writers.”
Brown graduated from both Cortland High and Tompkins Cortland in 2013, earning his associate degree by taking college-credit courses while in high school through the CollegeNow program. He then enrolled at Le Moyne, where he is on schedule to graduate in 2017.
“Having completed my associate degree prior to attending Le Moyne has helped me in many ways,” said Brown. “Having the credits and some classes out of the way freed up a semester for me to take this internship. I would not have even applied for the internship had I not had the free semester to use. Getting my degree at Tompkins Cortland through CollegeNow made this opportunity possible.”
Brown, who also serves as president of the Le Moyne College Student Government Association, says his time in the White House was unforgettable. “There were so many great experiences,” said Brown. “Obviously, meeting President Obama, Vice President Biden, and First Lady Michelle Obama were fantastic opportunities. I was also able to stand on the edge of the Oval Office, which was unreal.” Working in the home of the President during this this particular election year was a unique experience. “My most memorable moment was the Thursday after the Presidential election,” said Brown. “It was a somber day in the office, and at the end of the day we gathered on the couches in our office with a staffer and shared our favorite ‘legacy’ letters – letters Americans send in thanking the President for his role in their lives. Outside the windows you could hear election protestors outside of the White House and it was such an eerie feeling. It is something I will never forget.”