Real-World Experience (And Much More)

Real-World Experience (And Much More)

You might think of The Washington Center as a connector between students and internship sites in D.C. This is true, but TWC really provides so much more. Not only do participants of the program benefit from the work experience we get through our internships, but we also learn a lot through TWC programming.

Besides working full-time as interns, students who are enrolled in The Washington Center’s academic internship program take an evening course one night each week and participate in the LEAD Colloquium on Fridays, which includes small group sessions focused on professional development, professional track activities, a speaker series and more.


Evening Course

TWC tries to meet as many students’ academic expectations as possible by offering a variety of evening courses. Course topics range from politics and communications, to international affairs and business, and more. Students are able to choose whichever course works best for them and will attend their class once a week.


I am a finance major and am taking the TWC course on International Trade Affairs. The class covers a lot of material about world trade and discusses how to analyze trade affairs between countries and multinational corporations. To be honest, I thought this was going to be so much like Econ 101. However, as we go deep into each case study, I realize that we are learning about much more than just economic concepts. I would recommend this course to anyone with an interest in economics, finance, and international affairs.


LEAD Colloquium

Besides the evening course, The Washington Center offers small group discussions and lectures as part of the LEAD Colloquium. These small group sessions take place most Fridays and cover an array of topics, such as networking or diversity in the workplace. These discussions aim to help students get familiar with the “real world."


In these sessions, our LEAD instructor usually starts off with a brief lecture, then divides students into groups where we’ll discuss the topic of the week via questionnaires, case scenarios or examples from our internship site. The LEAD instructors are professionals who have had many years of experience in the workforce and they give very useful tips and advice. They are also great listeners, so don’t be afraid to voice your opinion or raise a question.


Professional Track Activities

There will be Fridays when you won't have your LEAD small group, but you'll have professional track activities instead. These activities are designed to help students get as much knowledge about their professional field as possible. I am in the Global Trade and Business professional track and this week TWC offered three events that people in our track could attend.


I went to a Tesla showroom and a talk about Chinese threats on a global scale. The Tesla showroom visit was amazing! We learned much about the history of the company and even more so, its founder, Elon Musk. Eli, our guide, gave us a lecture on technology that Tesla uses and their future plans. It was eye-opening to hear about the advancement of technology and just to imagine what can be available in the near future due to the fast development of technology.


Tesla showroom

Tesla Showroom


The talk on China was very informative as well. The presenter was the founder of a consulting firm that provides solutions to numerous governmental agencies regarding defense and civilian problems. The lecture focused on China's influence on global trade and related issues, such as Chinese products and Chinese expansion into Southeast Asia. Questions were asked, and comments were made. Some people agreed with the information provided, and some did not. However, this event served a great purpose, which is to spread awareness of the current state of global trade and encourage attendees to think about how our daily actions play a part in the future of the trading scene.


Courtesy of The Institute of World Politics


That’s it for now in the life of a TWC student. See you next week!


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