Michelle Rothblum worked with the White House Advance Team to prepare for President Obama’s Israel visit!

This USC grad has spent her Passover break with President Barack Obama during his long-awaited visit to Israel.

Check out this exclusive interview with Michelle Rothblum, who volunteered as a White House Advance Associate during her time on Career Israel.

Career: How did you get involved at the White House?

Michelle: A few months before graduating from USC, I decided last minute to apply to the White House Internship Program. The Department of Scheduling and Advance fit my travel and hospitality interests perfectly. When I was accepted to the program, I decided to pack my bags and move to D.C. for the summer.  

Career: What does the Department of Scheduling and Advance do?

Michelle: The office is responsible for planning the President’s daily schedule and plans all of the President’s travel outside of the White House. I loved the White House Internship Program. It is made up of three components: working in the office, the White House staff Speaker Series and also volunteering in the Washington D.C. community.

After her internship was over, Michelle went on a 10-day Taglit-Birthright trip to Israel. After the trip, she was hired by the Obama Campaign to travel with the National Traveling Staff to plan the campaign events throughout the country.

Career: What goes in to planning each campaign event?

Michelle: Basically, you get an assignment and go to the city the event is being held. In each city, we gather information from the White House that we need to plan the event. From demographic statistics, ticket distribution plans, to motorcade movements and hotel logistics, we had to make sure that everything was in order in time for the President’s arrival.

Career: Did you run in to any issues?

Michelle: During the campaign there were always surprises, but it’s how you handle everything on the day of the event. That is the job – you can only plan so much in advance.

Career: Did you get to meet President Obama?

Michelle: I met the President several times. He is great and was always upbeat despite a heavy travel schedule.

Originally from Tustin, California, Michelle graduated from the University of Southern California in May of 2012. Michelle is currently interning at TLV Internationals as a part of an internship program called Career Israel. 


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