The Girl's Guide to DC
Issue 50: Intern-ally Screaming
Hello and welcome back to The Girl’s Guide to DC! If you missed last week’s issue, find it here.
I want this newsletter to be about you, the ladies of DC, so send me healthy lunch recipes and bad date stories by replying to this email.
50 Issues of Girl’s Guide and Counting!
That’s right — this week is the fiftieth issues of The Girl’s Guide to DC! Thanks for reading AND sending in your questions/tips/topics ideas! Speaking of, I’d like to collect everyone’s DC hot takes to celebrate this milestone. You can send me your DC hot take by replying to this email or sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What They Don’t Tell You
College students are taking their final exams and packing up their dorm rooms — which can only mean one thing. It’s about to be intern season in DC.
I remember the weeks leading up to my first day at my first job in DC — I was so nervous. Would my coworkers like me? Would I embarrass myself? But I remember all my anxiety melting away after getting settled on my first day and realizing that my college experience had prepared me for success.
Whether you’re about to embark on your first internship or your fifth (overachiever!), you’ll want to take a look at the advice my friend Mary Margaret Olohan shared for female interns. She made the most of her internships at Regnery Publishing and Verily Magazine and now has an amazing journalism career — so listen closely!
Mary Margaret’s Top Tips for DC Interns
Carry heels, wear sneakers.
If you dress like you are serious, you will be treated like you are serious.
Always bring a notepad to meetings and take notes (NOT on your phone). Write down directions as they are being given to you.
Eye contact, always!
If you know important people, don’t talk about it.
Men that are nice to you for no apparent reason are usually interested in you sexually. This is generally true but especially true in DC. I am sorry. Don’t be stupid.
Don’t be overly familiar with bosses. They may be kind but they are also busy so don’t chat too much. Ask them questions about themselves.
It is okay if you work late. The people who complain about that (cue the work-life balance posts) are NOT the ones whose names you will remember.
Avoid women/girls who quickly share intimate information with you as a way to become friends. Odds are they are not very trustworthy.
Find women/mentors you respect. Ask them to get coffee. Ask for their advice (come with questions, don’t waste their time)! They will say yes, I promise.
Be smart about your conversations in public, especially bars close to the hill. If you have to complain about work, don’t do it in public.
If you are lost on the metro, Metro Center is your haven. Every line runs through it.
If you go to a happy hour with work people, stick to one drink, two tops unless that is too much for you. Yes, DC drinks a lot, but no one respects a drunk intern.
For the Catholics: Daily masses are everywhere. Try to go regularly. Good for your soul and a good way to make friends!
Read my advice for interns in Issue 7 of The Girl’s Guide to DC here!
Interview with Madeline Peltzer
This week, I’m interviewing my friend Madeline Peltzer, a tireless and talented hostess who has decided that 2022 will be her “year of domesticity.” Be sure to connect with Madeline on Twitter and Instagram.
What is the "year of domesticity?"
The Year of Domesticity grew out of my disenchantment with modern feminism and desire to rediscover the traditional, feminine arts women knew for generations but have been lost by our culture today. My goal is to cultivate a different homemaking skill each week for a year, like trying a new recipe, decorating on a budget, practicing hospitality, gardening, knitting, pickling vegetables, and learning to create floral arrangements.
This challenge has not only broadened my skill set and made me a more well-rounded person, but it’s also been a source of stress release and balance after a long day at work.
What do you love about your neighborhood?
I live in a rowhouse at the edge of the Capitol Hill neighborhood near Lincoln Park and truly love it! One thing I appreciate about DC is that it often feels more like a town than a big city, and I think that’s especially true of my neighborhood. I love walking home from work and running into friends, passing moms pushing their babies in strollers, and seeing people hanging out at Wine and Butter, a great little outdoor coffee shop just down the street from me.
What does your life look like right now?
I graduated from Hillsdale College last May and now work in communications as a ghostwriter for a political organization. Being a ghostwriter in comms is much more complicated than journalism, which is my background. You’re trying to catch a news cycle, drive a message, resonate with a diverse audience, and avoid political landmines— all while writing in the voice of a person you’ve never met. It’s a lot of factors to balance, but I’ve learned so much since starting in August. Plus, I have a great boss and team who’ve been by my side from the start.
When I’m not working, I am involved with King’s Church where I recently became a member, volunteer at Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center, enjoy exploring the city and surrounding areas, attend lectures and events around town, and get together with some of the wonderful women I’ve gotten to know since moving to DC as well as old friends from college who now live here too.
What's your favorite place to take friends or family who are visiting DC?
It’s technically not DC, but I love Old Town Alexandria — I actually prefer it over Georgetown! I’m an American history nerd so I love that Old Town offers a glimpse into our founding period. It’s fascinating to consider the people who've walked those streets.
There’s also the farmers’ market, the wharf, the restaurants and shops on King Street — it has such a lowkey, homey vibe to it. I took my mom there when she visited me last month and it was a highlight of our time together.
What's the biggest lesson you've learned in your career?
No work is ever wasted. Sometimes I’ve poured countless hours of effort and preparation into an opportunity that doesn’t pan out. But so often I’ve found myself drawing upon that experience for something completely different down the road or realized it opened doors to opportunities that weren’t on my radar at the time—even if it’s years later. You never know how the Lord is using present experiences to prepare you for something in the future.
What's your beauty routine like?
When it comes to makeup basics, I’m a loyal Mac girl. I have very fair skin so it can be difficult to find a true match. Mac’s Studio Fix liquid foundation and their pressed Studio Fix powder have been my standbys for years.
I’m also obsessed with press-on manicures. Going to the nail salon on a regular basis adds up and sometimes I don't have time to get my nails done anyway. I always keep a pack of self-adhesive French manicure nails in stock. They’re only $7 from the drugstore and will get you through several wears — my favorite beauty hack!
Inflation Hits the Thrift Store
As an avid thrifter, of course I have to cover this story. People are donating more and more items to thrift stores, but something unexpected is happening — prices are going up too, reports The Wall Street Journal. It’s a combination of paying workers enough to keep them around as well as the red-hot resale market. The WSJ interviewed resellers who complained about the rising prices of Carhartt jackets and vintage t-shirts.
Hot take, but I’m okay with prices going up at the thrift store if it means less “resellers” buying up every Kohl’s top from the 2010s and putting it on their Depop. Leave some for the rest of us, okay?
Funny Guys Win on This Dating App
Lots of girls say their top characteristic in a guy is that he’s funny — and a new dating app is banking on this being true. Smile matches users based on their reactions to funny videos, i.e. whether they have the same sense of humor. Read Evie Magazine’s writeup here. This seems like a win-win for me — you can match with someone who will laugh at all your jokes AND they’re cute? If any of you have tried this dating app, please reply to this email and let me know what you think!
Congrats to GABRIELA RODRIGUEZ, who is joining The Niskanen Center as an innovation policy analyst! Congratulate her on Twitter.