One major thing that The Washington Center (TWC) stresses is networking (a.k.a. the ability to form mutually beneficial relationships without being too sleazy).  The word is used so often in D.C. that it should practically be the city's slogan.


Because networking is definitely something I could improve upon, I went to an informational session offered by TWC at orientation.  By the way, The Washington Center offers a host of activities and info sessions; take advantage of them!  Anyway, the main thing that I got out of the workshop was to not be afraid to reach out to people.  In other words, it never hurts to strike up conversation in random places (unless that place happens to be under a bridge at 1:30 in the morning).  Just use common sense.


For example, while riding the bus I recognized a co-worker from For Love of Children (my internship site).  We talked the whole way to work, and by the end of the trip, she had given me great tips for taking the LSAT and applying to law school.  Another networking opportunity presented itself when my new friend, Gregg, invited me and my roommate to Arlington to meet some of his college friends.  On the way there, we met a fellow TWC intern, and we later went to eat at Burma, a Chinatown restaurant. The stories continue.


The point is that Washington, D.C. is a great place to make new friends even in the most unlikely places.  And usually after you make one connection, the opportunities continue to snowball.  Before I arrived, I certainly did not expect to get law school advice on a bus, go to the Arlington watering hole, Spider Kelly's, eat in a Burmese restaurant, and make friends on the metro all in less than four days. So for all of you considering interning in D.C., remember to open yourself up to new experiences.  Getting out of your comfort zone is essential for making good friends and having a good time!


PTN (Public Transit Networking) with Martha and Gregg

Think twice about networking with this person!


Three Important Networking Takeaways:


1. Make friends fast!  Sightseeing alone is definitely uncool.

2. Look for opportunities to talk with interesting people.  And no, I do not mean the person singing at the top of his lungs on the metro.  In fact, don't even make eye contact with that person.

3. After you make friends, follow up! Keep in touch even if you don't need anything.  No one likes the person that only calls for favors.


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