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people, Deb and an intern,” Fitchett


In addition to working in the

Correspondence Office and the Let’s

Move team, Fitchett had some other

responsibilities during her time in D.C.

For example, she was part of the Japan

State arrival at the White House, when

the heads of the Japanese government

came to the capital.

During the Japan State arrival, Fitchett

did VIP check-in and saw the entire


“It’s cool if you’re from Japan, but I

didn’t know who any of the VIPs were,”

Fitchett said.

Her favorite memory of the internship

was meeting Michelle Obama. Fitchett

shook Obama’s hand and had a photo

made with her (the photo cannot be

shared due to White House policy).

“I’ll never forget, she told me, ‘Wow!

You’ve really got your hands full. It’s

nice to meet you,’” Fitchett said.

Fitchett was also able to listen to

President Barack Obama and Vice

President Joe Biden speak. She said

Biden’s easygoing demeanor was a

contrast to the pressure of the White


“It’s the White House,” Fitchett said.

“Perfection is nothing short of what’s

expected. There’s no room for error, or

it reflects on the entire first family.”

Fitchett said it was important to be

detail-oriented during the internship.

For example, one of her neighbors got

in trouble for leaving out a semicolon.

As a result of the pressure, Fitchett said

the White House could be a busy, high-

stress environment at times, especially

when the first family was in town.

Visitors to the White House during

her internship included hip-hop artist

Kendrick Lamar, Bill Nye, the Iowa

State football team and the 2014

Teacher of the Year.

“It was a crazy experience,” Fitchett


The White House internship taught

Fitchett that everyone – including

herself – can do anything they put their

minds to.

“You can do whatever you want,”

Fitchett said. “You can’t set boundaries

for yourself. You do that, and you’re

setting yourself up for loss. You don’t

know how capable or competitive you

are - or the skills you have - until they

are tested. You can’t compare yourself

to others - what school you went to,

your background.”

Since her internship, Fitchett has been

staying busy. She was recently selected

as a traveling leadership consultant for

Sigma Kappa, her sorority.

This selection process was also very

competitive: Out of hundreds of

applications, only 17 women were


Fitchett was assigned to a region,

and she will travel to chapters within

that region to advise them, help with

recruitment and complete other

tasks. She will begin a 1 1/2 year

contract in this position full-time after

she graduates from IU Southeast in

December 2015.

Fitchett said her dream is to work as a

motivational speaker. She wants to be

an example to others through her faith

by helping people turn their situations

around, while recognizing that God can

turn them into something beautiful.

Additionally, Fitchett said she

wants to go to graduate school for

communications. She said she has not

selected a school yet, but she is open to

moving, traveling or both while young.

Fitchett advises IU Southeast students

to take risks and try new things,

including travel.

“The culture at IUS is grounded here,”

Fitchett said. “But that shouldn’t

prevent you from doing something

incredible with your 20s. Be your own

advocate. You never know until

you try.”

Olivia Fitchett, left center, poses with the other first lady interns in front of the East Wing of the White House.