Summer in the City Margaret Witkofsky '24 is researching grants for the city of Lexington, Virginia through her internship with the Office of Community-Based Learning.
“All the city’s projects and plans have surprised me. So much goes on behind the scenes and everyone at city hall is working hard to improve Lexington.”
~Margaret Witkofsky ’24
Name: Margaret Witkofksy ’24
Hometown: Ridgely, Maryland
Minor: French; Law, Justice and Society
Q: What factors led you to choose W&L?
I immediately fell in love with W&L the moment I stepped on campus. I loved the idea of a small liberal arts college, and W&L was perfect. The faculty and small classes, along with the honor system, were things I hadn’t seen at any other school.
Q: Why did you choose your course of study?
I’m a religion major with minors in Law, Justice and Society (LJS) and French, which is definitely a strange combination. I first picked up the religion major when I took a Hinduism class my first semester with a visiting professor, Professor Haskett. The class was unlike anything I had ever taken, and I’ve been taking religion classes ever since. The classes feel like a combination of history, English and sociology. The department is really small and feels like a family. I picked up the LJS minor because I decided I wanted to go to law school, and I think it’s cool that I can take law classes through the minor. I took French to check off my language requirement since I had already started taking French in high school. I went to France on a spring term abroad course, and I fell in love with the culture, so I decided that I couldn’t stop taking French classes.
Q: How did you find out about this opportunity? Did anyone at W&L help?
I was really worried about not having a summer internship, and I had been meeting with Lorri Olan in the Office of Career and Professional Development about my options. It can be difficult to get a law-related internship as an undergrad, and I wanted to stay in Lexington because I heard from my friends that summers here are really fun. She mentioned this internship and sent me the Handshake link to apply.
Q: What kind of work are you doing?
I research grants for the city of Lexington and am also shadowing a judge in town.
Q: What do you like most about it, and what has been most challenging so far?
I like the experience I have been able to get with local government the most. I get to talk to many different city departments and learn how they all work together to keep the city running. I spent the other day with the fire department and rode in the ambulance. So far, the most challenging has been the research. It’s less structured than research for a class, and if my research doesn’t bear good fruits, then it’s affecting the whole city, not just my grade.
Q: What aspect of the work has surprised you the most so far?
All of the city’s projects and plans have surprised me. So much goes on behind the scenes, and everyone at city hall is working hard to improve Lexington.
Q: How do you think your current summer experience will impact your future career path?
I think this experience will help with grad school. And who knows – maybe one day I’ll go into city government.
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