The Internship Experience
Leadership, Engagement, Achievement, Development
What sets The Washington Centers internship experience apart from almost all other
internship programs is the combination of three distinct components: the internship itself, the professional development activities, and an academic course.
The Washington Center has developed relationships with more than 1,000 internship sites in and around Washington, D.C. Those sites include government agencies and offices (such as the Department of Justice, the Library of Congress, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission); non-profit organizations (like the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the Turkish Heritage Organization); businesses (such as CBS News, Marzulla Law, Capitol Management), and lobbying organizations (The Potomac Advocates and others).
You will work closely with members of The Washington Center's staff to determine potential internship sites. This process will take into account your academic interests, knowledge, skills, and the career paths you're considering. Your completed application materials will be forwarded to these potential sites and interested internship sponsors will contact you to arrange a virtual interview. You will make the final determination of your site placement, dependent on offers received, at the end of this process. Rest assured, if you are accepted by TWC, they will find you an internship!
You will be expected to work nearly full time (four days a week, about 32 hours per week total) at your internship site, completing real, substantive work, not simply running errands for a supervisor, making copies, or getting coffee.
The Washington Center provides a structured set of activities that combines smallgroup discussions (concerning leadership and reflections on your experiences in D.C.), programming tailored to your specific professional track (panel discussions, briefings, field trips), participation in the Alan K. Simpson-Norman Y. Mineta Leaders Series events, and involvement in a civic engagement project and associated workshops. Additionally, interns often have the chance to meet with a Senator or Representative from their state.
In some cases, the academic course that you take will be applicable to the work that you are completing each week as part of your internship. In other cases, you will enroll in a course that is not likely to be offered on campus, such as a history course called Scandalous Washington. You will have input as to the seminar course you take. Courses meet one night a week and are taught by faculty members from higher education instiutions in or near DC or by professionals in the field known as professors of practice.
Course offerings cover a wide variety of academic disciplines including business and management, communication, international affairs and foreign policy, leadership, history, national security, and law and criminal justice, among others. Past academic courses have included: Media and the Movies, International Human Rights, Campaigning for a Cause : How Advocacy Groups Change the World, Forensic Psychology, and Government and Business in the New Economic and Political Reality, in additional to Scandalous Washington.
For a current listing of academic courses, visit The Washington Centers website: http://www.twc.edu/
As a culminating activity, you will complete a professional portfolio, which includes a resume, cover letter, reflection assignments, internship work samples, completed assignments from your academic course, and other related documents.