Shoot Your Shot – EC Student Spotlight on Donna Mayo

Don’t be afraid to shoot your shot. 

Heading into her junior year at Emmanuel, pre-law major, Donna Mayo reached out to History professor, Dr. Bob Fulton inquiring about potential internship opportunities. 

He shared with her information about The Fund for American Studies program in Washington, D.C. 

“I remember him telling me it was a very competitive program, but that it was worth a shot to apply,” she said. “Dr. Fulton helped me through the interview process and without him none of this would be possible.”

What started as a dream opportunity for Donna, quickly became a reality. Now, as one of the 14 interns in the TFAS Leadership in the American Presidency program, Donna is experiencing a semester in the nation’s capital. 

Students in this program will spend the semester in Washington, DC where they’ll grow as leaders and have the opportunity to explore careers in public policy, service, and politics while gaining the professional experience needed to break into these fields. 

“Every day is different,” Donna said. “We don’t know when we’ll have a zoom call with the Department of Defense or the Department of Ag, etc. It’s ever-changing. I take 12 credit hours at George Mason University and intern at Cool Blue Media, so every day is different.”

Cool Blue Media specializes in the use of virtual reality by the healthcare industry, something Donna finds interesting. 

“I’m interested in going into medical malpractice law so learning the new way that healthcare is going with VR is fascinating,” she said. “I’m a psych minor and using the classes I’ve taken I can see how everything intermixes.”

With the program ending on April 30, Donna believes she learned a lot during her stay in the Nation’s Capital. 

One lesson she took away from the program is to not be afraid to shoot your shot. 

“Networking has been important during my time here,” she said. “I had a lot of additional zoom calls with top attorneys I’ve reached out to learn more about the field I want to go into. I had dinner with one who told me to let him know if I’m ever in DC again and need an internship. I have a coffee date planned with a top family law attorney in Georgia when I get back home as well.”

What advice would she give to other students looking to land a dream internship or job? 

“Never be afraid,” she said. “Don’t let someone else tell you what you can or can’t do. I’m only 19 years old and have always been told that I am too young. I f I would have let that stop me and listened to everyone else, I wouldn’t have graduated high school early and would be in the position I am in right now. The worst someone can say is no. Never be afraid to shoot your shot – more doors will open than you know.”