Derry students secure Washington DC internships

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Two Derry students will next week take up internships at the very heart of US Government.

Jessica Caldwell, a Law with Politics student at Queen’s University and Ciaran Roddy, a final year Law student at the University of Ulster’s Magee campus, will be jetting off the States as soon as their exams are over to take up a two month internship in the American capital.

Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

Both were selected from around 400 applicants for the Washington Ireland Program (WIP) - an organisation designed to give students a rich insight into America’s professional and social culture, through the internship and an intensive training course in leadership and service.

Jessica, who will spend her internship at the National Holocaust Memorial Museum undertaking a video project, says the programme offers her an “ amazing opportunity.”

“It’s fantastic to have secured a place on such a competitive programme. The opportunity to spend time in Washington, especially during election year is unbelievable. I have always been obsessed with US politics.”

Ciaran says he is also delighted to have been selected and determined to make the most of the opportunity.

Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

“The internship could be anywhere in Washington – from Capitol Hill to government agencies, entrepreneurial businesses and the non-profit sector,” he says.

“It looks set to be an incredible experience and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”

Throughout its 18-year history, the WIP program has developed strong links with the political elites in Washington DC with former interns working with then US Senators, Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton and current US Senator John McCain.

Bryan Patten, WIP’s Executive Director, says this year’s class “are extremely accomplished with a track record of community service and have demonstrated their capacity for leading in their communities.”

“They truly exemplify the quality of our young people in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Washington Ireland Program will give them the opportunity to work with those who are leading on a global stage. This experience will further hone their skills and help create a peaceful, stable and prosperous future for Northern Ireland and Ireland.”

You can follow how the Derry students progress online at