My TWC Experience

My TWC Experience

After having time to reflect on my experience in D.C., I feel that I can fully appreciate everything that has happened because of the Washington Center. It was an experience that will resonate for a long time, and it had its fair share of work and play. There were some flaws in the program, but they are small compared to all the positive experiences that I had living and working in the heart of D.C. I would recommend the Washington Center to those who are interested, but there are certain things to keep in mind when signing the paperwork.

 

A User Review of the Washington Center

When the Washington Center representative came to my school in the fall of 2012, I was interested in getting some experience. As a political science and environmental studies major, it was a great chance to work on issues that speak to me. Washington, D.C. had a certain appeal, and the chance to actually be involved in the fabric of the city was a terrific opportunity. The Washington Center heavily emphasizes the opportunities it provides by being located in the capital, and they do actually meet this expectation.

 

They give you chances to meet many prominent people through their many guest speakers, programming events, and networking workshops. They help you find an internship that matches your interests, and they introduce you to the professional environment by forcing you to create resumes and interact with professionals on a daily basis. For someone with little "real-world" experience, this was an incredible benefit for me. I really do feel more confident about my capabilities in the professional world because of the various tasks assigned to us throughout the semester.

 

These experiences gave me insight into what I want to do with my career path. I had no clue what sort of career I wanted when I entered the Washington Center. To be honest, I'm still unsure exactly what specific job resonates with me, but I've learned a great deal more than I would have if I stayed at Central Michigan this semester. I learned what sort of work environment I'm suited for, and what aspects of a job are most important to me. It may be casting a wide net, but it's still miles ahead of where I was a mere five months ago.

 

This brings me to my next point. The Washington Center is definitely career focused. Of course you'll learn more about your career path and explore different career opportunities, but it will probably be a better overall experience if you narrowed down your choices a little. As a junior in college, I was actually one of the younger students who participated in the program. The majority of the students were seniors or were on their last semester of their undergraduate programs. I often felt like many of the events were catered to them because they had a "career fair" type atmosphere. By that I mean many students were already arranging job interviews with professionals in D.C. while I was still focusing on finishing my undergraduate degree. I still had a terrific experience, but I wonder if I would have benefited by waiting for my senior year when I would be more career focused.

 

Other Thoughts

Many of the required programs are extremely helpful. You may complain about having to dress up for another guest speaker early Monday morning, but I can say I did try and learn something valuable from every event. We got to travel to interesting places where you had to dress up, go through security, and listen to cutting-edge talks. Our trip to the Federal Aviation Administration to learn about commercial space transportation comes to mind as a good example of this.

 

The social events that I was able to attend were also fun as well. It was unfortunate that many of the social events were scheduled on Saturday, which is when I was scheduled to work, but I did get to see the International Festival and several social gatherings (SuperBowl, BBQ, etc.). It would have been nice to attend more of these events, and I would suggest going to as many as possible. They tend to take you to interesting places all around D.C. Who can say no to a free trip?

 

Overall, the experience at the Washington Center is something you should experience if you are interested in the program. There are plenty of unexpected benefits that I received by simply walking into my room. For example, I made really great friends from all over the world and got to practice my Spanish skills. I've built a network of people who have expanded my horizons and made it possible for me to step into the professional world when I'm ready.

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

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