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What would I do as an intern?

The specific tasks for which VET Initiative participants are responsible depend heavily on their professional field, skillsets and experience, as well as the organization for which they are interning. VET Initiative students will have the added opportunity to utilize their military background and possibly taking on more challenging tasks and responsibilities. Our goal at The Washington Center is to ensure that participants spend most of their time (at least 80%) completing substantive assignments that will help them to learn and grow as a professional.


What types of internships are available?

The Washington Center has partnerships with over 500 organizations in the greater D.C. metropolitan area. Students with a variety of interests across all majors and sectors are able to find meaningful experiences and gain transferrable skills. View some sample internship sites to see what other TWC interns have done in the past.


How does the process of finding an internship work?

Accepted participants will be introduced to the VET Initiative Manager, their main point of contact throughout their TWC experience. The VET Initiative Manager will work with you to define your goals and interests, review your resume and application materials, and discuss next steps in the internship matching process. TWC shares your application with targeted internship sites that align with your goals and interests. If the match is mutual, the internship site will contact you to arrange an interview. Provided the interview is successful, an offer is made and you are encouraged to discuss the opportunity with the VET Initiative Manager.


Are internships paid?

While some participants are offered internships that offer some sort of compensation (e.g. small stipend, metro fare, etc.), the vast majority of internship sites in Washington, D.C. provide unpaid positions. However, the long-lasting benefits often surpass any potential compensation received at an internship. Depending on how much a participant maximizes her or his experience in the VET Initiative, some benefits include personal and professional development, continual support, feedback and guidance, and a high level of exposure to significant people and places while living in a major global capital such as D.C. The VET Initiative participants will receive financial aid of $2,000 (taxable) to help offset their travel and day-to-day costs.


Am I allowed to find my own internship?

TWC is actively committed to providing quality internship experiences and facilitating the internship placement process. However, if there is a particular reason a participant identifies another internship on his or her own which meets the participant’s goals, TWC will coordinate with the participant to determine if the internship meets the program’s specifications and TWC’s vetting process for all internship sites. TWC will ensure that you will be provided with meaningful work, confirm that the internship site supervisor will be willing to complete the required TWC evaluations, and verify that the site supervisor is aware of program components, dates, and any other important details.


Do participants often receive job offers at their internship sites?

There are a variety of success stories as a result of participants’ time in Washington, D.C. The majority of VET Initiative participants may return to their colleges or universities to finish their degrees following their time in Washington, D.C. Others may find that they would like to adjust their future plans and do not pursue full-time employment at their internship sites. TWC alumni leverage the professional networks they gained through their participation in our program and via their internship site to enhance their career prospects. TWC encourages participants to focus on the marketable skills and exposure they are gaining which will bolster their resume and professional profile for the job search process or when applying for post-graduate study.


What if I don’t like the internship that I accept or something goes wrong with my internship?

While participants rarely have significant issues at their internships, TWC provides guidance and support in first mediating any problems, and if necessary, identifying a new internship site should any issue arise that would inhibit the completion of an internship. It is important to help us address any issues by speaking to the VET Initiative Manager.


By what date will I confirm my internship?

Typically participants are in the internship matching process for the duration of one to two months, though this can vary. Most internships are confirmed prior to the start of the program. It is essential to keep in close contact with the VET Initiative Manager to secure the internship placement prior to arrival.


I’m studying or serving abroad the semester before I begin my internship. Will this cause any problems related to the matching process?

TWC routinely works with students abroad, so it is absolutely possible to participate in our program directly after returning from studying or serving in another country. However, you must be able to start the VET Initiative by May 24, 2017. It is important you allow time and make arrangements to have a Skype or other online session with the VET Initiative Manager so that we can best work with you during pre-arrival and your internship matching process. In addition, it is important to be accessible via email, and that you are able to make arrangements for necessary phone or online interviews with prospective internship sites. This is key to ensure a successful internship matching process and that you are set up for success once you are in the U.S. and joining us in Washington, D.C.

Experience a Day in the Life of an Intern at The Washington Center

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