In the fall of 2014, I was able to participate in The Washington Center (TWC) Internship Program, interning and spending a semester in the nation's capital. The entire experience was a rewarding and transformative one. For the first time in my academic and professional career, I was given the opportunity to challenge myself by doing something completely out of my comfort zone. I was able to live in a new city for three months and immerse myself in the vibrant culture of Washington D.C. My experience would have been impossible to replicate in a traditional campus setting.
The internship portion of TWC was a transformative experience because it exposed me to what a metropolitan professional environment looked and felt like. I worked for a multi-national banking institution and was partnered side by side with leaders in the international government affair field. While there, I learn how to navigate a professional environment and sharpen the skills that businesses look for in young professionals. The skills I gained could possibly be determining factors in attaining postgraduate employment, as employers can measure my aptitude as a clear edge in the competitive job market. Additionally I was able to make life-long relationships with people from all over the world; Gibraltar, Mexico, and Belgium just to name a few.
Also while participating in the TWC I was able to volunteer with an organization called Reading Partners who placed volunteers in low-income schools in order to help students master essential reading skills. I thought this work was extremely gratifying as I was able to be a one-on-one tutor for young third-grade students who were underachieving in reading and comprehension. During my short time there I saw the children become more successful and confident readers.
Because of TWC I have gained confidence and a sense of purpose, which will allow me to flourish in any highly competitive marketplace. TWC also helped me to challenge myself and grow personally and professionally. More importantly, I was able to create a positive impact on the community while I was there and brought back leadership skills I can implement not only on campus but in my community as a whole.
Want to know more? Check out Amanda's blog about her experience with The Washington Center Internship Program.