Change of Time

Change of Time

I finally feel like I have adjusted to life here in DC, and it's lucky because these last few weeks are going to be very very full! Just this past week I managed to fit in an informational interview, a meeting with my Representative (Amy Klobuchar), a service event for my Civic Engagement project, a check-in with my program advisor and work supervisor, class, work, programming, and (somehow) sleep! The Washington Center definitely makes sure our time here is filled! I remember seeing our syllabus for the first time and wondering how I would possibly be able to fit all of those assignments into one semester, but it works. And I actually feel as though the majority of the things we have done here have been very beneficial.


I thought I would go through a few of our assingments in this entry so you can get a better feel for the real requirements. First up: the IDP.


Our Individual Development Plan is the first assignment here at TWC. It seemed overwhelming starting off, but it is much easier than I expected. I also like that our first submission was a draft; we get to edit and rework the assignment throughout the semester if we want to.


So far the informational interview has been my favorite assignment. We are required to choose a person who works in a field that we would like to someday work in. This gives us the opportunity to talk to someone that we might not otherwise get the chance to speak with (and it's amazing for networking). This is something that you can do as much with as you want, and you will get that amount out of it. In my IDP I set a goal to interview several people. So far I have interviewed someone who works at The Leadership Conference who I met through my class, and I already have two more interviews set up for next week.


Another assignment is the meeting with your Representative. This assignment is simple: someone here at TWC sets up a meeting for you and the other interns from your state to speak with your Representative, then you write a follow-up letter. The experience is cool if you are interested in politics, but I have to admit it wasn't my favorite. Amy Klobuchar was great, and it was cool to see her office, but we didn't get to actually speak with her like some of the other interns did with their Reps. Amy Klobuchar was great though!


Adam, Cat, Senator Klobuchar, Me, and Taylor

Me with my Minnesota Representative!


Our Civic Engagement projects are the most independent of our assignments. We are supposed to pick a topic that we feel strongly about and do something about it with at least 3 significant activities. I chose animal rights (I love dogs) and I just got started with my project this past weekend. I do suggest you start this as soon as possible, my project was delayed because I have been sick, but I am glad I am starting now and not saving it for later. This past Sunday I volunteered for a dog adoption event with a few of my friends who are also focusing on animal rights. The event was through Lucky Dog which is a fabulous organization that rescues dogs that would otherwise be put down and finds them foster homes and eventually forever homes.


We worked as Handlers for the event: each of us was assigned a dog to spend the day with and attempt to find a family for.


This is Captain, the dog I spent my time with, and he was adopted!

This is Mitsy, my roommate Rachel's dog-for-the-day. She was a lab mix, but clearly was part pit bull. She was so sweet, but very strong. She didn't bark once and gets along great with kids. She also loves chewing on bottles, as you can see. Mitsy still needs a home if anyone is interested, or if you are interested in any dog, just check out the Lucky Dog site HERE!


And this is Rachel, with another of the Lucky Dogs.


Each of these assignments (and plenty others) add up to make our final portfolio. The portfolio is something you can use pieces of for applying to jobs or interviewing and is a great summary of your time here in DC. As much as I can complain about homework, this is something that will be really beneficial in the end. These assignments have taught me how to manage my time and use it in a totally different way. Luckily at least some of the assignments are fun and allow me to meet new people and be out in the city. Time management is so important here, and it is just as important to learn how to balance all the work with some fun. So far I think it is definitely worth the work.

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