Casey Richards was an Undergraduate Scholar in 2013 when she interned at Valente & Associates, a lobbying firm.

Where are you from?
Westport, CT

Where did you go to school? What did you study?
Villanova University with a B.A. in global interdisciplinary studies, minors in Japanese, political science, and East Asian studies.

What was the best part of your internship?
The best part of my internship was the opportunity to attend Congressional hearings on behalf of our firm and write briefings. In other words, field work and organizing ideas!  Having previously interned for a Senator in a district office, I loved getting an up close and personal view of the policy making process. I also appreciated learning new techniques about how to construct a policy briefing – a skill that I’ve re-tooled and utilize at my current job.

What lessons did you learn that you would like to pass on to future interns?
Lesson learned: Attend every outside event that the BA Foundation sets up for you.

It can be difficult to take time off of work, especially while juggling student and intern responsibilities.  In looking back, I recognize there were certain tours and lectures that the B.A. Rudolph Foundation invited me to that I thought I couldn’t go to because I had work. Some I turned down, fortunately not many. We’re not going to be in our early twenties forever with every door open to us. It’s not every day that a veteran Pentagon official invites you in and gives you their undivided attention and a tour of the facility. Somehow the BA Rudolph team makes these ridiculously awesome opportunities available to us scholars and looking back I’ve realized just how valuable and rare those invitations were. Especially now that I live across the country, I’m so grateful to have been given a real all-access view of DC.

What are you doing now?
Now I’m working in Merchandising and Operations for Brit + Co, an online media and e-commerce startup based out of San Francisco, CA. My favorite aspect of working for the State Department, the Senate, and the lobbying firm was how dynamic my roles were and how no one day was ever the same. That’s exactly what I get working in the startup world. We’re constantly putting out fires, creating new processes, and building a company from scratch – now viewed by 15M a month. I love to problem solve and see tangible results and my job affords me just that!

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?
In 10 years I hope to find a way to bridge my current job with a more altruistic endeavor. Be it more involvement with our company’s #IAMCREATIVE Foundation, helping connect the startup and DC worlds (our CEO Brit Morin was taped to be one of the female leaders of the White House Maker Faire so we’re anticipating more policy involvement to come), or even finally taking the Foreign Service Officers Exam and working at an embassy abroad. There’s a part of me that won’t be satisfied until I find a way to get back to my policy/government roots. I’m always open to suggestions on how to make that happen!

What is your favorite book and what are you reading now?
My favorite book is probably Pride and Prejudice. My friends recently gave me a gorgeous Austen collection for my birthday so I’ll most likely be reading those in the coming days – something about classics over the holidays just seems right. Beyond Austen I’d recommend Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet In Heaven – it’s a short and sweet sentimental book that makes you take notice of your life. The little and the big moments, the main characters in your life and those just passing through – it all matters. Whenever I finish reading it, I have an urge to “do” something – work a bit harder, be a bit kinder, and take a bit more time to value the everyday.

Tell us a fun fact!
I didn’t like fish until my twenties. I spent one semester in Japan and now sashimi and green tea have become staples in my diet. Learning: It took a new place/experience to open me up to a new love. Part of why I moved to San Francisco was to again shock the system and, so far, it’s been an incredible two years.

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