This Stuff Works!

This Stuff Works!

I think we can all agree that there are thousands of internship opportunities for college students year-round, all across the country. What sets The Washington Center apart from all the other internship programs out there?

Is it the fact that I get to work at Interpol, the international police organization, headed right here in Washington, D.C. at a Department of Justice building? Is it that I get to spend an entire semester in the nation's capital and sight-see and go to all the museums and monuments and cherry blossom festival activities? Maybe.


But the one aspect that has become the most obvious to me during my time here is that the information they take the time to teach you is actually useful and actually incredibly important, and even more incredibly difficult to learn on your own. Everyone knows that after a certain point in high school math, if you're not planning on becoming an engineer or an astronaut or something, everything extra you learn is kind of pointless. "When am I ever going to use this in real life?" I would hear my classmates, and even myself, ask during Algebra II in 11th grade. Let's face it, I'm never going to have to use factoring to solve quadratic equations or graph asymptotic functions ever again (insert sigh of relief here).

The difference between Mrs. Wydler's class in my junior year and the courses and seminars I'm taking up here in D.C. is that everything I learn here, whether it's about how to build a powerhouse resume, how to conduct an informational interview, or how to write and present a cover letter, is extremely valuable information that I will be using a lot during the next few years, maybe even the next couple of decades, of my life.


When I applied to be a part of TWC, I never thought that I would be learning all this information, and it was only after they taught me and I put it into practice that I realized how valuable it actually is. Before I arrived in D.C., my resume looked like a 3rd grader found a typewriter and had a field day. Now, my resume looks extremely professional and I believe that right now at this stage, it is actually quite perfect (although one of the things they teach you is that no resume is absolutely perfect, and you will have to change it at least a little bit every time you want to use it for something). I have actually sent my resume to a few recruitment officials at some federal agencies, and I feel confident that it represents me now because it reflects the professionalism, structure, and organization that I believe I can bring to wherever I end up working.


It's not just my own personal belief that the information I have been taught here is making an impact on my professional life. Remember that informational interview I told you about last week? You don't?! Well, you better go back and re-read my blog post about it! I interviewed the chief psychologist at the U.S. Marshals Service, and a couple of days later, I sent him a professional-looking, but still personable, thank you card in the mail. It just so happens that he visited my job at Interpol to give a presentation about sex offenders, which is the population he works with. After his presentation, I came up to talk to him and thank him for coming back to see us, and he instantly remembered my name from the thank you note that I sent him in the mail. He said that it was very impressive and that people rarely send out thank you letters anymore. He said he showed his boss, the chief inspector of his floor, and other people in his department. I was shocked at how much of an impression it left on him.


Another seminar taught here was the cover letter seminar in which we were taught how to write an appropriate cover letter and were given several handouts, and even the individual staff members' cover letters from when they applied for their position at TWC! It doesn't get much better than that, folks. Besides, your cover letter is probably the piece of your application that will change the most according to what job you're applying to, and the more you know about them and the more resources you have, the easier it will be to write one for each application.


I can't even imagine what my future job applications would look like without TWC's help in teaching me how to construct my resume and write a cover letter. We even have a mock interview coming up in the next few weeks. This internship program makes sure that all its students are prepared to go out into the real world fully stocked with all the best possible application materials possible; and that's what sets TWC apart from every other internship program I've heard of.

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

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