The D.C. Experience
by Miss Nicole Crevar, SRU Junior Communication Major
My name is Nicole Crevar, and I’m a Junior Communication Major here at Slippery Rock University, with a minor in both Spanish and Literature. But what makes me a step above the average student is my current internship in Washington, D.C. That’s right, I am living in the heart of our country, while interning for the NAFTA Desk and Trade Office at the Embassy of Mexico. Talk about an experience! And this whole wonderful situation would have never happened if I hadn’t stopped into the Career Education and Development Office in Bailey Library.
It all stated last fall when I contacted the Career Office because I had no idea what to do with my life–which is typical. This led to career counselor, John Rindy encouraging me to look into an internship with The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. So I took his advice, and got in touch with the Political Science Department, who oversees the application process. The process was quite simple, fill out some forms, write a short essay, finalize my resume, etc. I did run into some problems, mainly with my Major department and The Financial Aid Office, but I knew that the experience would be well worth the cost. In the end, everything got worked out and I was accepted to TWC’s program with little idea of just how remarkable this experience would be.
Arriving to Washington D.C. was like repeating freshmen year all over again–except ten times better. TWC provides housing for all interns, with four of us to an apartment. And when I say an apartment, I mean that it includes all amenities–fully stocked kitchen, a washer and dryer, and a TV/couch. What’s not to like? On top of that, I absolutely love my roommates! They are all so very unique and every single day is a new learning experience. I share a room with Fabi, a Venezuelan beauty from Florida. Meanwhile, across the living room my other roommates are Grace, from China, and Taylor, from Canada. However, the diversity of interns goes far and beyond my apartment, especially considering that a different language is spoken around every corner of our apartment building.
As for my internship, my daily tasks keep me busy as ever. I’m constantly using my Spanish skills by translating texts or answering consultants’ questions. I also do copious amounts of research, which I then write reports about and enter the data into Excel datasheets. This job truly is a glimpse at “the adult world.” I work roughly 32 hours a week, with three other interns who I completely and totally adore.
Besides my internship, I have a Monday night class about Journalism ethics portrayed in the movies. I also have programing events, which includes a Capitol Building Tour, a meeting with the State Department, and a Career Boot Camp! To say the least, I’m getting the full D.C. experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
So what are my recommendations to you? For one, GO to The Career Education and Development Office on campus! They are insanely helpful and, believe it or not, they are the best resource of information about what you could do to prepare yourself for a future career. Secondly, I strongly encourage everyone to look into academic internships, just like TWC in Washington D.C. This is the type of experience that will put you above other applicants when applying for jobs. If there’s one main thing that I’ve learned this semester, it’s that NETWORKING is the key to landing a job! And D.C. is the perfect place to do just that. So get out of the SRU bubble and take a side step to further your career. You never who/what you’ll find (especially about yourself) when getting out of your comfort zone.