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Published: Tuesday, 10/26/2010

UM grad from Monroe gets internship at White House

BY TOM HENRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A Monroe native who graduated from the University of Michigan in 2009 is part of the latest class of White House interns.

Zaina Javaid said she was inspired to apply in the fall of 2008 by the energy surrounding President Obama's election as America's first African-American president.

"I was in Ann Arbor and you could hear cheers and feel the energy from every nook and cranny of the campus. People were on the streets celebrating, and strangers were embracing. Obviously, it's hard not to be moved by something like that - seeing young people that engaged makes it hard to ignore the impact of this administration, and I just wanted to be a part of it in any way that I could," she said in a written statement relayed by the White House Office of Media Affairs.

The Obama Administration would not allow a telephone interview. A spokesman said none of its interns is authorized to give them.

All information from Ms. Javaid came from her responses to questions prepared in advance and submitted through a communications officer, who also supplied a White House photograph of her.

Ms. Javaid, who majored in English and art history, said she loves meeting visitors and staffers alike.

"That is my favorite part of the job," she wrote.

She said in her correspondence with The Blade that she was "definitely ready for the next step" after spending the year after graduation traveling and working with a Web site called duckduckgreen.com, which specializes in baby products.

She started at the White House about a month ago.

"I've learned a lot about things that are not very exciting and romantic, but are so important to any job - Excel, phone skills, and deadlines. On a larger scale, I have learned a lot about how much work goes into everything that happens here. I also have learned a lot more about local politics," she wrote.

Ms. Javaid said in her statement she would "absolutely recommend" a White House internship.

"I really encourage people who are from small towns, like me, that might think it's far off or impossible to give it a try," she wrote. "It's such an experience - every day is different, and the people you meet are so fantastic. To be able to be a part of something you truly believe in is something that you can carry with you the rest of your life, so I would tell everyone who is even a little bit interested to apply."

Contact Tom Henry at:

thenry@theblade.com

or 419-724-6079.



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