Figuring Out Next Steps

Figuring Out Next Steps

Hello friends, future TWCers, Mom and Dad, maybe my future boss. We officially have only 28 days left here in Washington, D.C. and it's starting to get a little more crazy with upcoming assignments and applying for summer internships, or even our first job if we're graduating.

I have friends who are currently in the interview process for summer internships, but (to my relief) I've already locked in my plans for the summer. I will be returning on staff as a Team Advisor at the National Student Leadership Conference at American University here in D.C. I was an Assistant Team Advisor two summers ago and a student in the program two years before that, so I am so stoked to make a comeback and have greater responsibilities. I'll only be doing that for a month, though, and afterwards I will begin interning at the Los Angeles County Republican Party. Internships are clearly my jam.


LEAD Colloquium

Though my planning for the upcoming months are done, there is still some light planning to start for the near future. For this week's LEAD Colloquium, we had to pick one out of three options - Graduate School, New Job, and City Relocation - and fill out a worksheet for that one option. I picked graduate school because I want to pursue my master's degree soon after I finish my undergrad.

Basically, there was a fact sheet for the two main types of graduate schools - Public Ivy and Eclectic Private - which listed the characteristics of each, such as student-to-teacher ratio, strength of the career services network, location attributes, cost, prestige, etc. After going over each school's profile, I had to list the pros and cons of each, as well as the importance of each pro and con.

At first, I chose the Public Ivy because it had more pros and fewer cons than Eclectic Private. I quickly realized, however, that the Eclectic Private was the right choice for me because 1) all the schools I've been looking at fit that profile, and 2) the pros of it were of higher importance and the cons of it were of lower importance.

I thought this was an especially beneficial exercise because unless you make a pro/con list yourself, you're not going to see the positives and negatives of each option side-by-side. You have an idea of what you like and what would suit you best, but having that visual and comparing them was very helpful. Plus, I learned what was and was not important to me when choosing a graduate school.


Additionally, my LEAD instructor took the time to show us a few cool, handy websites to aid us in our preparation for relocation and/or getting a new job. These websites included: shows you the cost of living in any city in the world broken down and compares it to other cities - reviews on specific jobs and companies, common salaries, etc. - shows how walkable a certain city, neighborhood, or area is

I expected this program to be much more hands-off than it is, but I am grateful that it isn't, because I have been challenged to solidify my plans for the future and to plan a path to achieve my goals. While I was offered a full-time job at my internship site, my goals are defined, and I have learned that that career path is not for me.

Many interns here have at least an idea of what they want to do after they graduate. Even if they don't, through exercises like this, TWC provides great opportunities to help figure it out and then how to pursue it.

LEAD Professional Track

I was especially looking forward to today's Professional Track session. We were able to choose whether we wanted to go to the Republican National Committee (RNC) or the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

I've been exploring many different fields within politics through my internship and volunteer opportunities, and the one I was interested in exploring next was party structure. I am fascinated by the political parties, and I would like to learn how they operate and how they influence politics in the U.S. on a national level.
I was able to do this by going to the RNC today. I know many people who crossed party lines for this event because they felt they had more to learn by crossing into the "dark side," but I chose to stay on my side of the aisle because I am interested in working for the RNC someday.

We spoke to the Director of Political Training, whose background was mostly in field politics. He talked to us extensively about the responsibilities of the RNC - what they do and how they do it. I was surprised to learn that the RNC does not work on policy for the reason that it is the candidates' job. Rather, they work with techniques for winning elections across the country. And no, he did not say anything about Donald Trump.

Katie's Corner

I love using this blog as an excuse to go out to eat. To friends I say, "Want to go out to lunch? I need a new restaurant recommendation for my blog." To my mom I say, "I'm sorry, I had to spend extra money on food for my blog!"

This week, I said the former sentence to a lovely friend of mine who also reminds me to take pictures of my food when we go somewhere. This week, I chose Busboys and Poets as my next victim.

Since Orientation Day at the RAF, I have heard about this place. It's hip and progressive and artsy - pretty much all the things I am not. According to their website, the name of the restaurant refers to American poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a busboy at the Wardman Park Hotel in the 1920s, prior to gaining recognition as a poet. In the front, there are shelves and shelves of books for sale, which I found super convenient during our 20-minute wait for a table (P.S. I read Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? ).

I don't know about the other locations, but the one closest to the RAF on 5th Street is huge. The menu is pretty diverse and there were many items I wanted to order, but I went with the grilled chicken panini with sweet potato fries...



Just for clarification: those are two halves of the sandwich stacked on top of each other, not one giant sammy. My friend went with a more exciting option, the lamb burger, and said it was very tasty as well.

That's all I have for you this week. Tomorrow, I will be fulfilling my five Civic Engagement hours at an event called Cultivate the City, whereby I will be gardening at a local elementary school from 9 am to 3 pm. Me getting literally down and dirty... it will definitely be interesting, if not comical.

One of my roommates told me to write a blog post exclusively about her, and to prepare by following her around like National Geographic does with wild animals. So, just look out for that within the next month (but probably definitely not).

Until next week!
- K

Read Katie's previous blog posts here

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

Learn More