A Small Big City

A Small Big City

I have to say, DC is the smallest big city I've ever been to.

 

Now this sounds like a completely contradictory statement, I mean it's our capital, how could it possibly be small? But when I say small, I don't mean land mass or population, I mean connections. Everyone knows someone who knows someone around here. Sometimes this could be a bad thing, stories get spread quickly and all the sudden your boss knows exactly what you did last Saturday night. But most of the time this is a wonderful thing! Since orientation everyone has been talking about "networking", and networking is to DC as soccer is to the rest of the world (for those of you who are unaware, soccer is the most watched sport everywhere OTHER than the US). It's like a favorite pastime here.

 

Through my program and my internship I have gotten to meet some pretty amazing people and most of them have been extremely open to networking with me. Last week at programming we had Tom Tauke, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Policy and Communications at Verizon. He is a former congressman and has an extremely valuable relationship with The Washington Center's board. At my internship I have meet tons of people who are key to the organization including Alice Germond (DNC Secretary), Patrick Gaspard (DNC Executive Director) and, as I've mentioned before, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (DNC Chairwoman) among other leaders at the DNC. I would never have been able to interact with these kinds of people and make these important contacts if it weren't for the networking culture of DC.

 

I have also been able to take advantage of the surrounding universities. Despite the fact that The Washington Center is not affiliated with any of the universities throughout the city, many professors are fully aware of the fact that events at these schools are usually free and open to the public. I have now attended two different events at American University for class and am planning on attending a forum at Georgetown later this month. My professor is an advisor at American University so he is extremely concious of all the opportunities at AU so he gave us the information about a few different lectures that relate to our class, this is one of the events that I attended a few weeks ago that focused on the National Parks and fundraising. I also went with my roommate, Anna, to a panel at AU that was required for her class. It was hosted by their College Republicans club and had a panel of former congressmen and an AU Political Science professor.

 

DC is so full of opportunities, it's just a matter of taking advantage of them. While the majority of my time here I have taken advantage only of the monuments and recreational opportunities the city has to offer, it's important to keep in mind that there is also a lot to do when it comes to networking and education. I love the fact that there are other schools around because I miss being able to go to lectures just because I'm interested in the topic.

 

One final thing, for the first time all semester I finally missed having a dining hall. I'm starting to get bored of this whole "cook for yourself" deal, I miss being able to go and have 3+ different meal options all ready for me. I suppose I'll have to get over it though!

 

Until next time!

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