Participated in: Fall 2014
Major: International Relations
Internship Organization: Washington Office on Latin America
Current Position: Volunteer Coordinator at Satellite Affordable Housing Associates
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How have your career goals evolved since doing the Washington Program?
Before coming to Washington with UCDC, I had a very limited sense of what work in International Relations, at the forefront of the field, would look like. During my internship search, I not only gained vital skills in the job application process, but I also learned about one of my dream jobs (working at WOLA). When I applied to the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), I thought the chance of getting in was slim, as it was with many of the ambitious applications I submitted. Somehow, I was accepted, and I began WOLA's internship program.
How did your internship affect your career trajectory?
It was undoubtedly my first experience in the "real world", working an essentially full-time schedule, and becoming fully immersed in a vigorous and inspired nonprofit circle full of people doing life-changing work on human rights. During my time at WOLA, a full-time position opened in my program. Though I still had two quarters before my graduation, I felt there was nothing to lose. The internship gave me an incredible advantage at a place that gets a multitude of qualified applicants, and somehow, one year later, I can now consider myself a true Wolista.
What advice do you have for Washington Program participants with similar career interests?
So, for those interested in the Washington Program, I am its greatest advocate. Even if it doesn't get you a job, it will teach you imperative professional experience, and build a network that is vital to succeeding in the competitive world of DC. Internship experience is one of the only ways to explore your future pathway at a time when the future often seems daunting. And though one can never predict the path that your life or career will take, exploration is the first step toward making the future a little more clear.