"It's About Who Knows You:" Summer 2015 Commencement

"It's About Who Knows You:" Summer 2015 Commencement

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Christian Holm
August 12, 2015

The Washington Center’s Summer 2015 cohort took another step in their careers during the summer Commencement ceremony on Friday, August 7.


The student-focused celebration opened with a TWC first: A trombone-solo rendition of the National Anthem. Andrew Burk, a student at Florida State University and an intern with 826DC, gave the performance to rousing applause.


A fellow Floridian, Kristen Nyman, served as the Summer 2015 student speaker. A Florida International University student and an intern with Akerman Senterfitt, Nyman encouraged her peers to think not only of how their summers in Washington impacted their own lives, but also how their hard work opened doors for other students.


“We have impacted this district by bringing our unique perspective and experiences here and putting them into practice,” she said. “Every firm, every office, every organization we worked with is forever different because TWC interns were a part of it.”


Rachel Soloway ’14 welcomed Nyman and the rest of the summer 2015 cohort to the TWC alumni community. A recent graduate of the University of South Florida, Soloway explained that her return to Washington as a full-time Capitol Hill staffer was a challenging road full of interviews and a couple of rejection letters. Yet by daring greatly – a theme of her address – Soloway approached her future boss, U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) and asked for a job in his office. She refused to take “no” for an answer.


“Even after being turned down for other opportunities, I chose to stay driven and it paid off,” Soloway said. “Remember, this town isn’t just about who you know. It’s about who knows you.”


Finally, two students received recognition for their achievements during the semester. Avanelle Carbon, a student at the University of the Virgin Islands and an intern at Serve DC, received the Emerging Leadership Award. Lauren Baghsarian, a student at New Jersey’s Stockton University and an intern at the Circle of Friends for American Veterans, received the Professional Growth Award.


Click here to view photos from commencement

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