Final Farewell

Final Farewell

Well here we go, folks; it looks like we're coming to the end of the line. I'm finally back in New Hampshire enjoying the 75 degree weather, cool breeze, and the lush greenery that surounds me, but at the same time I'm missing DC terribly. I apologize to some of my more diligent readers for how late this blog is, but with all the craziness of moving out it took me a while to get back to blogging and I have only now just had some time to sit down and complete this final farewell. Hopefully this recess has given me enough time to properly reflect on my experience at The Washington Center enough to write a thoughtful post about it. 


Like I've mentioned in earlier posts, I think The Washington Center's biggest accomplishment is its ability to identify the specific characteristics within their students that are conducive to leadership and to bring these people all together under one roof. Granted, if one is able to withstand some of the absurd regulations the RAF staff enforces such as a maximum occupancy limit of 8 people to an apartment (which happens to be a smaller limit than my freshman year dorm room), you will find that the caliber of people in this program is remarkably high. And this does not mean that these people are "nerds" or "geeks" by any means, because you don't simply become a Washington Center student by having good grades. The Washington Center places great emphasis on leadership, so to have a successful experience at The Washington Center you must have the qualities of a leader, which often include the ability to converse and connect with people in an environment that may be out of your comfort zone. This gave way to a fantastic environment in my experience, as everyone was not only motivated, intelligent, and ambitious, but they were also amicable, funny, outgoing, and witty, and this combination has made for one of the best experiences of my life. Put simply, if you choose to be a Washington Center intern (which I strongly encourage doing), you will quickly learn that is not only the TWC portfolio, Monday programming, or the Leadership Forum that are of any worth, but the connections that you make with the future leaders of industry, business, and politics that will ultimately be beneficial to your future. These people with whom you'll establish incredible friendships comprise The Washington Center, and it is ultimately the interns that make The Washington Center a fantastic experience.


Obviously the internship is also a huge factor in deciding whether or not to attend The Washington Center, but unfortunately I cannot speak generally about the internship aspect of TWC because it varies greatly depending on the internship. I had some friends at The Washington Center who sat at their desk all day doing nothing, some who dropped boxes on the Chairwoman of the DNC, some who did research on how to renew a privileged trade status agreement with Africa, and some who, like me, while not intellectually stimulated, were able to meet the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Robert Kagan, or General Karimi of the Afghan National Army. Each internship is going to be different and unfortunately there's really no way of being sure how it's going to turn out, but luckily TWC can help you change internships if that step becomes necessary. In any case, you are bound to learn something from the experience regardless of whether you decide to pursue a career in the field of your internship or not. As for me, while I cannot say that I was intellectually challenged at my internship, the experience was absolutely instrumental in my professional development, as I was in constant contact with high ranking officials from the NESA region and thus had to always maintain a professional disposition. I was also fortunate to hear things that I literally cannot repeat, and that in itself is really cool! From what I've heard from fellow interns, each internship is bound to have its ups and downs; the important thing is how you deal with them. Even if you dislike certain aspects of your internship, you would never have known that unless you were exposed to it. The internship experience isn't just to see how the job works and what you like about it, but it helps in finding out what you dislike in a job, which can be very helpful in a job search. Anyway, enough of my babbling; here are some of the pictures from my final weeks in DC.



Chillin' in front of the Indian Embassy


The Cosmos Club


All the NESA interns in front of the Ghandi statue


Basielle (Belgium) and Loris (Mexico) in front of the infamous Ben's Chili Bowl


Diggin' into some chili dog. It's just too good.


The gang all assembled in front of the Capitol for some good ol' American kickball



Team Awesome, preparing to be defeated by Team Suck. Hey, I didn't choose the names.


Team Awesome, being tough.



The gang after a tiring day of Capitol picnicking, kickballin' and fun-havin'



Court and me, in front of the Nationals stadium. Because the Nats are somewhat new and haven't really established a solid fan base (any possibly because they're not very good), they do tons of ticket promotions throughout the month. On this day we got our tickets for like 10 bucks, but I just got an e-mail last week about a "Two Dollar Tuesday" deal, so if you ever go to DC be sure to check them out. I'm not a huge baseball fan, but it's a sweet experience nonetheless.




Presidential Race...


Clo, being silly




Intern farewell dinner with Terese, our NESA supervisor!


And the journey finally ends... the gang after commencement


Well, it looks like that's all she wrote... I want to thank everyone who kept up with the blog throughout the semester; I'm sure it was a chore, but I try to keep it as informative and lighthearted as possible so I hope it was bearable. As for me, I still have another year of school left, but I have no doubt that my experience at The Washington Center will only help me when I make my way back to the nation's capital once I graduate. Suffice it to say, I think it already has, as my internship this summer, Pax World Management, seemed pleased with the fact that I had already spent time in a professional environment. Although I will be doing wildly different work (ESG research in particular) and actually getting paid for it, I am absolutely thrilled to start and I have no doubts that the skills I honed while at The Washington Center will only assist me at my internship this summer.


In closing, let me just reemphasize that everything about my time at The Washington Center was maturing and unimaginably beneficial to my being in every possible way. My internship helped me develop professionally, while actually using what I have learned in school; my class opened my eyes to brand new concepts; and every experience I had in DC I can attribute to my personal development. While at TWC I grew in all these ways, but most importantly, I grew tremendously as a person, which is something that you cannot put a price tag on. That being said, I can honestly say that choosing to attend The Washington Center was the best decision of my life, and a memory that I will hold dearly for the rest of my life. I am deeply saddened to leave The Washington Center, my friends, and my internship, but I am also extremely excited to see what the world has in store for us. Lastly, I hope this blog was at least enjoyable and has given some insight into what a TWC intern does, even though at times I'm not sure there is a single "right" answer to that question.


Until we meet again, friends.



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