UCDC Alumni – Sullivan Gaudreault

People standing together

Internship: The Syrian Emergency Task Force

Term of Participation: Fall 2022

Tell us about your internship – what kind of work did you do? What did you find rewarding?

My internship was beyond amazing. I was my non-profit’s communications/marketing director/video/photo content creator. I wore a lot of hats because it’s on the smaller side, but that also meant I learned skills in a lot of different fields. 

One week I would be in Arkansas filming fundraising and advocacy events, the next I’d be in DC meeting high-level officials. 

I traveled a lot for this internship, I went to Arkansas, upstate NY, NYC twice, and then Istanbul, Turkey for a week to film our projects there. I was doing a lot of social media content creation, TikTok and reels, MailChimp newsletters, and promotional videos played at bigger events. I even created videos that were played at UN sessions. I found working toward the goal of freeing innocent civilians from the Syrian Government really rewarding. Using my skills and expertise to do good and help others is the best feeling. 

Have your career or life goals changed as a result of your internship? If so, how?

Oh certainly. Before DC I was going to work for the Innocence Project, doing media creation. Now, I’m moving to DC and working for the Syrian Emergency Task Force full-time in June, and will never look back. 

I’ve learned this line of work is key to my happiness, fulfillment, and growth as a professional filmmaker. 

Share an exciting memory from your internship – something unexpected, an accomplishment, or someone you met.

The movie director M. Night Shyamalan is a big donor to our organization and every year he hosts a big Halloween fundraising event. I got to go last minute when I was in DC. Some coworkers and I drove to Philly and I got to party it up with M. Night and meet him. The whole party was the actual set of his TV show The Servant too.

Did your internship lead to any opportunities? 

Absolutely. I have so many different job opportunities in DC now. My boss and my organization are so well connected. Staying with them will help me create an insane network, but can also lead to new job possibilities. For example, I just got hired by the Swedish embassy to create a video for them and they’re flying me to DC all next week to do it. I got this through a connection from my internship. CRAZY

Share a story about something special you did in Washington – an event you attended, a place you went, an exciting talk, etc.

Alexandria was really cool! I honestly was working so much that I didn’t have much time to go to events. I will say there are just so many different neighborhoods and places to explore in DC that I didn’t have the time to explore places and events deeper.  Sorry :/

How has living in the nation’s capital for a quarter changed you?

It completely changed how I view politics and the world as a whole. It has widened my perspective on life, privilege, and how I can best use my skills to help others. My time in DC was life-changing and a time in my life I will never forget. 

Do you have any advice for future UCDC students?

Make as many friends as possible, connect, and work with as many people as you can, because these will be your colleagues and professional network in no time.

Last modified: Jun 14, 2024