Friday, October 21, 2016

St. Thomas Law Student Secures Prestigious White House Internship

Ricky Marc
This past Spring, third-year St. Thomas Law student, Ricky Marc, began a once-in-a-lifetime experience having been accepted into the prestigious White House Internship program.

White House internships provide a unique opportunity for students to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills.

The selection process is highly competitive and Ricky was one of only two South Floridian law students selected. Selection as a White House Intern is based on commitment to public service, demonstrated leadership in the community, and a commitment to the mission of the Obama Administration.

As an intern, Ricky became a part of the White House team, with  daily assignments including conducting research, managing incoming inquiries, attending meetings, writing memos, and staffing events.

Interns work in one of several White House departments, including the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the Office of Cabinet Affairs, the Office of Communications, the Office of Digital Strategy, the Office of the First Lady, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of the White House Counsel, among others.

We were excited to get the following insight from Ricky following his experience:

What drew you to the White House internship program?

Just the thought of being able to say that I not only served in the Obama Administration, but more importantly my country and its people during such a critical time in American history was enough to draw me to the White House Internship Program. The application process was quite simple, actually: I went to the White House's website and filled out the application form! 

What did you hope to get out of the experience?

There isn't much time left before the next administration takes the reins, but there remains so much left to be done to help the American public. I want to continue to grow as a human being and as a public servant, and to make lifelong connections with some good people while I am here. Most importantly, I want to continue to develop the public service bug within me, as I know that my role within my community back home will change forever because of this experience.

What and where were your key assignments?

Since I started my internship in the Office of Public Engagement, I've worked on various projects, like events during Black History Month, outreach to the Asian American Pacific Islanders community, and even Veterans issues from time to time. I help wherever I am needed because it feels good to be able to help the machine run well. My policy is that I am here to help in any way that I can, and it gives me great joy to be able to do that while working with everyone here.

What was your first day like?  What is a typical day like?

In many ways, my first day was very much of a blur. Our second day was the State of the Union, so the first day was a whirlwind of activity throughout the White House. With everyone getting ready for the speech, time just flew by. It was a numbing feeling, realizing where I was after all of the waiting and work leading up to this.

A typical day involved arriving at the office in the morning and checking in with a few staffers on the day's events. I would print out my schedule, attach it to my clipboard, and review what needs to be done for the day. On occasion, there was an event somewhere on the premises that interns helped to manage. Due to the changing nature of events and the likelihood of unexpected developments, roles never turned out to be exactly what they were on paper. That's the exciting part of those events. Afterwards, it was mostly checking in with staffers and making sure projects that I was assigned were done by deadline.

What was the high point of the internship?

That's an easy one. The whole internship was an emotional high for me. It's where I've always wanted to be since I was a six-year old watching President Bill Clinton debate Senator Bob Dole on television during the 1996 election season, so you could imagine how glazed-over my eyes must have been approaching the iconic building for the first time. President Barack Obama is the only public figure I have ever been star-struck by.

Do you want to have a career in public service or as an elected official? If not, what are your career aspirations?

Absolutely. A career in public service as an elected official has always been something I've been drawn to do. It is something I often dream about. My home state of Florida needs someone that speaks on behalf of a new generation. I attribute this desire to the experiences I've gained here as well as my time working with Florida State Representative Bobby Powell during (and after) my undergraduate years. I look forward to the opportunity to represent my family, neighborhood, community, city, county, state, and country in elected office.

It would be an honor to be an active part of the governing process someday; but first, I need to finish my legal education. I plan on returning to St. Thomas University in fall 2016 to continue my studies and to finish my J.D./M.B.A. in Sports Administration. I look forward to one day becoming either a sports agent or a league executive in the National Basketball Association. The idea of being a professional franchise's general counsel excites me, as it would bring together two of my loves (the law and sports). Entertainment and Sports Law essentially creates an umbrella of varying practices, such as business law, immigration law, corporate law, some tax law, and various other concentrations I have a strong interest in.

But I need to pass the Florida Bar first. Once I do that, I will be able to fulfill my desire to serve as an advocate for those that cannot speak for themselves in the legal system. This is also why I hope to represent my community's voice in elected office in the years to come. It's my hope that my work here in Washington, D.C. makes my family, my community, and my school proud.

How has your time at St. Thomas Law prepared you for this experience?

In addition to the unconditional love and support of my mother, father, siblings, and extended family, this transition to Washington D.C. wouldn't have been possible without the help, wisdom, and guidance of some good people down there along the way - Deans Alfredo Garcia, Cecile Dykas, and John Hernandez, Andres Marrero, Jiovanna Bryant, Delores Hollis-Hall, and Rudy Jacir, just to name a few. There is no doubt that my education and overall experiences at St. Thomas University have helped me out big time while I was at the White House. They, along with many others throughout this experience, have truly been invaluable.

Being a student at St. Thomas Law has helped me become a much more analytical and objective thinker in all aspects of my life, making certain tasks here at work a lot easier than they otherwise would have been. As someone that has taken courses taught by world-class professors such as Jennifer Martin, John and June-Mary Makdisi, Tamara Lawson, Nadia Soree, and Barbara Singer, I feel like I can take on the world. I am thankful to have had these professors thus far.

Being on the executive board of multiple on-campus organizations since my first year (such as the Student Bar Association, Entertainment and Sports Law Society, Jewish Law Students Association, and the Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity) made it possible for me to easily transfer those acquired to skills to the various events and projects I faced as an intern at The White House.

The St. Thomas Law community is proud of the drive and determination displayed by Ricky in securing this opportunity.


  1. Very proud of what you have accomplished Ricky! Cudos!!!!

  2. Very proud of what you have accomplished Ricky! Cudos!!!!

  3. Really interesting all your advices, i want to work in some similars jobs but i don't have to much experience right now, i'm thinking i'm gonna start in a student residence for the moment

  4. Congratulations to you Ricky.Stay blessed!