- Interned at: Diplomatic Language Services (DLS)
- Participated: Summer 2019
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alina-rahman-160b85160/
What was your internship like?
During my time in the Washington Program, I had the chance to work as a Business Development Intern at Diplomatic Language Services. Here, I worked directly under the Executive Vice President and CEO of the large government contracting agency. My job was to reach out to professional employment organizations in an effort to expand the company's reach by placing language instructors abroad in Africa and Europe. In addition to this, I conducted research on company competitors and even aided in gathering materials for French-language curriculum development.
Has your career or life goal changed as a result of your internship? If so, how?
This Internship reshaped the vision I had for my future career because it expanded the breadth of opportunities I could explore with a degree in international relations. It taught me that I could explore even more possibilities in my field of work outside of just government agency jobs. By working with a government contractor, I could still contribute to improving and better connecting the world around me. This leaves my door open to different options that will keep me from feeling assigned to just one single path. I now feel more open-minded to what I could be doing in the future as a young professional. DLS's friendly and inviting work environment has also encouraged me to return to DLS in the future.
Share an exciting memory from your internship experience.
Through the experience, I gathered in my internship, and my time living in DC, I took the time to tackle the question of what I'd like to do after graduating next year. One option I began to consider was joining the Peace Corps. By talking to various colleagues at DLS I discovered that one of my co-workers had actually volunteered for the Peace Corps in the past. Because of this connection, I was able to actually sit down with someone who had gone through it and asked them insightful questions about their personal experience. This lead to my decision to apply for the Peace Corps after graduation and provide developmental aid abroad. This was completely unexpected because I had no idea I actually wanted to commit until I had the chance to hear a first-hand account from a past volunteer in my office.
Did your internship lead to any opportunities?
Working at Diplomatic Language Services allowed me to expand my resume and apply to new positions back home in California. My supervisor at DLS provided me with a strong reference and because of her, I actually managed to attain a new job for the State of California beginning in Fall 2019. My job will be to assist the director of the Appeals, Claims, and Projects section of the Department of Developmental Services headquartered in Sacramento. Because of this internship, I had the chance to get closer to the company's executives and develop a stronger relationship with my supervisors. I am confident that I'd be able to return to DLS anytime in the future to seek a rewarding career relating to my field of study.
Share a story about something special you did in Washington – an event you attended, a place you went, an exciting talk, etc.
I had the chance to tour the inside of the White House during my time in DC. The security screening process to do this was extensive, but rewarding in the end because my roommates and I had an inside look at the history of our nation's leaders. I had never imagined getting to experience this, even being a resident of the DMV area for much of my youth before going to school at UC Davis. We scheduled the tour by reaching out to our congressperson located in DC, who then granted us access after a background investigation. I was extremely excited to do this and it was a DC experience I will never forget. The inside of the White House was magnificent and it was an honor to walk the same corridors as many historical figures and leaders from our nation's past.
How has living in the nation’s capital for a quarter changed you?
DC definitely boasts a fast-paced city lifestyle that encourages its residents to adapt to a professional and sometimes conservative environment. I feel like I've sharpened my cultural knowledge by living in DC because I got to witness new and diverse living quarters in a big city. I'm also confident that I've grown as a young professional and know that I'll return to UC Davis ready and motivated to excel in my future work.
Do you have any advice for future UCDC students?
My advice would be to take advantage of your personal network of colleagues while in DC. Exploring your network could possibly uncover new connections you never imagined and help place you in new opportunities. It's also smart to further develop this network by reaching out to those around you, whether at work or in the UCDC circuit.