My Typical Week as a TWCer

My Typical Week as a TWCer

When in an interview or attending a career fair, I always like to ask "What does a typical day look like in this position?" Knowing the detailed routine of a job or a program is the easiest way to see if it really is of interest to you or not. Take myself, for example. In high school, I used to dream of studying foreign languages for my major.


Then, I signed up for a camp designed for high school students to experience a typical week in a foreign language department.During those five days, I could barely stay awake because I found the literature, history and ancient documents very boring (while I can say I never fell asleep in math class). I love English and enjoy reading novels, but I do not like having tests on English literature and poems. Therefore, I quickly switched my focus to a business major (later, I did attend the translation program to somehow realize my childhood dream.)


I want to write about a typical week as a TWC intern for two reasons. First, this program is quite hard to explain in a sentence, or summed up in a few words. Is it an exchange program? Ah… not entirely, we have to work. Then is it an internship? Yeah, kind of, but we also have an evening course.


The other reason I want to highlight what a typical week looks like is so that future applicants can see whether they would like this program. I personally feel lucky and proud to be a TWCer, but I cannot guarantee the same satisfaction for everyone. Check out a typical week and make a decision for yourself!




Monday to Thursday are TWC interns’ workdays, which means the schedule is quite fixed and repeated.


Breakfast & Commute | Metro, Walking, Biking, Cars



Breakfast is a must for a long day at your internship! I usually rotate these three quick but delicious breakfasts in week-day mornings: avocado sandwich, cereals with fruits and tuna egg rolls. I fell in love with avocado after trying my first one here. It takes less than 15 minutes to start a good day by having a yummy breakfast.


The commute varies from intern to intern, depending on the location of the internship sites. Since D.C. is renowned for its walkability, many interns walk or bike to work (a saving tip). However, mine is too far to walk, so I always take the red line on the Metro. At first, the frequent breakdowns and delays on the red line drove me crazy, but after I started to read novels on train, I seemed to get rid of my impatience and negative emotions. Out of all the books I read during this semester, I recommend The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks, who is one of my favorite writers.



Working | 9-5


At my internship, I sometimes I have the chance to work with the clients, helping them audit, but most of the time I stay in the office as most interns do. I really like my seat, which is located in a big room and gives me easy access to turn to co-workers for help (they have been my lifesavers this semester)! As for what I usually do in my internship, it varies from week to week, but typically includes different kinds of tax returns, extensions, audit testing, etc.


The projects and cases can be sometimes be quite challenging to me because I have to learn and adapt to the new software, new system and new rules. Taiwan uses IFRS and doesn't have tax returns, whereas the U.S. uses US GAAP and tax returns are a big load to the accounting firm). But this all keeps me awake and helps me learn quickly. At first I thought I’d be bored staring at double screens with numbers and worksheets all day long; however, I surprisingly found it’s still interesting to figure out the numbers and learn the logic behind them. Although I've always wanted to have a fellow intern in the same place (like most of the TWCers do), I am still lucky enough to have a co-worker, Ginger, to have lunch with everyday. I really appreciated her company and enjoyed the food-sharing during lunch, which is my source of energy for the long afternoon.


Evening Course | Monday 6-9


My evening course is International Business Case Study, taught by Professor Laney, head of International Affairs for DHL. To be honest, after a long day of work on Monday, it’s hard to stay attentive and react quickly. However, some of my classmates never fail to do their best to bring up different viewpoints and opinions during discussions.


To me, the best part of the evening course is having 20 students from all over the globe (including the United States, China, Korea, Spain and Sweden) who are representing their culture, regulations and common practices of business in their country. We don’t even need to Google the current economic or political situation in these places, because our classmates can provide the facts about their own region. One thing that is important to know about TWC’s course is that they are more than simply sitting around talking and discussing; instead, it could include a mid-term paper, essays, homework, group projects and a final presentation, similar to the normal courses you would have back in school. So, be open-minded in class discussions, and be cautious when dealing with deadlines!


LEAD Programming | Friday 9-5


TWC really takes good care of all the interns here during the semester. They try their best to keep us busy with a tight schedule and homework to follow-up with our internship and career choices. One of my favorite assignments from the LEAD Colloquium is the informational interview, in which we had to reach out to two professionals working in our ideal field, and ask them to retool our resume, consult our career path and ask for some suggestions. I found a TWC alumna who works in the consulting department of Deloitte. She gave me so much feedback and advice on my resume, even sharing her life story with me. For my professional track, we sometimes have speakers come to share their experience in specific fields, such as nonprofits, fundraising or startups. We even sometimes got to have site visits at government buildings, private or public organizations and workshops. If you happen to be interested in the topics, you’ll find it pretty helpful and informative. If not, it’s still good to learn something new and see how others can get involved.


Civic Engagement | Cultivate the city and Cherry Blossom Run


Weekends here are not always about exploring the city or hanging out with friends. In fact, we have some obligations to fulfill, such as volunteering! I chose to join Cultivate the City and the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run as a volunteer this semester, not only making new friends, but also getting to know this city better. We learned how to plant organic strawberries and weeds in the garden right on the corner of the street, attracting attention from many people and delivering the idea of going green and reducing carbon footprints by cultivating plants ourselves. For the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, we greeted and gave out packages to over 20,000 runners. The work itself was not interesting, but observing runners of all ages, from all walks of life and meeting other fans of running was a lot of fun. Although volunteer work is not the routine we do every weekend, it is a meaningful part of the TWC program.


TWO things I do nearly everyday… weekday or weekend

Read Jill's previous blog posts here

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