What I've Learned About My Future

What I've Learned About My Future

I was talking with my parents the other day, and they asked me what career ideas I'd thought about as a result of my internship in D.C.

If I had to boil it down to one sentence, it would be: “I don’t want to go into politics.”

This may sound like blasphemy to anyone reading this who is interested in applying for The Washington Center. After all, Washington D.C. is a city dominated by national and international politics. The district’s atmosphere is conducted by the ebbs and flows of political news, and the vast majority of young professionals in the city wish to work in some field relating to politics.

Yet, I feel like I’m one of the outliers. But I’m not worried.

Working at an internship gives you valuable work experience that you use to decide what you wish to do for your career, and how you wish to achieve that aspired job. I’m currently interning at the Washington D.C. Economic Partnership. Primarily a publicly-funded organization, it helps conduct economic development - on all scales - within the D.C. borders. All business is done locally.

However, the White House is three blocks away.

Seeing how the current president has the most notorious relationship with the media out of all U.S. presidents makes me uneasy - after all, journalism is a possible career for me. Knowing how protests are conducted day in and day out with little results within Congress bothers me - our government proves itself to be stubborn.

Given the political climate the city is experiencing this summer, I’ve decided that I wish to stay out of politics. Although my internship has little to do with politics, I’ve narrowed down my checklist of possible careers.


Courtesy of Wall Street Journal

That’s progress.

Many college students today - at least many that I know - decide what career is best for them by the time they attend college as freshmen. When most of them realize that their career goals have shifted, they panic. They wonder how they should have taken different courses, gone after different internships, and maybe even attended different colleges. What they don’t realize is how reaching their future careers is a process in and of itself. Nothing is set in stone, and people’s minds change a lot.

The same goes for me. I attended college as an incoming freshman planning to major in Spanish and Hispanic Studies. I switched to Economics. I then switched to History, with a minor in Economics. So far, I’ve taken only two Spanish classes in my two years of college. And yet, I’m content with my progress. I’ve learned of my strengths and my weaknesses as my academic career has continued.

As for my work experience, a similar story is unfolding. I enjoy my internship and the work I do. I feel that I’m helping people by aiding their economic livelihood. But the political atmosphere of this city has made me realize that I should stay out of that particular spotlight. I’ve learned that I like to be a person “behind the scenes," helping others make decisions with better knowledge behind their actions.

While I’ve learned quite a bit from working at my internship, I’ve learned even more about myself as a young professional. That’s what this experience is all about.

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