I recently attended an information session on The Washington Center, organized by Dr. Barbara Stedman, Director of National and International Scholarships and Honors Fellow. I am grateful to Dr. Stedman for the chance to learn about TWC, and most importantly, to pass the information on to others who may benefit from TWC’s programs, which have the potential to be nothing short of life changing.
As TWC puts it, “Leaders are built from the inside out. They’re made, not born.” TWC is a nonprofit academic internship program based out of Washington, D.C. that offers internship programs, as well as academic courses and seminars. TWC mainly functions to connect college students with civic, governmental, and business leaders. They work with hundreds of colleges and universities, a considerable number of public and private host organizations (or internship sites), and over 40,000 alumni.
Here is the list of TWC’s main internship programs:
- Advocacy, Service, and Arts
- Business and Management
- Cordova/Fernos Congressional Internship
- Ford Motor Company Global Scholars
- Global Trade and Regional
- International Affairs
- Law and Criminal Justice
- Media and Communication
- Political Leadership
- Science, Technology and Society
Because they are located in Washington, D.C., TWC has contacts in nearly every U.S. government organization in the area, as well as contacts beyond the governmental realm. One program I believe could yield experiences particularly useful to English majors is their Media and Communication Program, which includes the fields of communication, print and broadcast journalism, public relations, advertising, and social media.
Social media, in particular, is a field businesses and organizations are especially looking for people to handle. It has become public knowledge that social media can be a great source for advertising, and is gaining more interest every day. Many business owners do not know much about managing social media, but have been paying attention to such trends. Since younger people tend to have more of a beat on this arena, this is who these business owners are going to in order to get a leg up when it comes to their reach, and activity, on the internet.
Here is a short sample list of organizations TWC connects interns with:
- White House Office of Media Affairs
- National Public Radio
- Peace Corps
- Bread for the World Institute
- The Smithsonian Institution
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
- Center for Public Integrity
- CBS News
- Women for Women International
- Fair Trade Federation
Internships are a great way to not only prepare for careers in the real world, but also help to learn how to effectively apply for jobs. If you pursue and internship with TWC, you will be required to create a portfolio, including the following elements:
- Résumé and cover letter
- Individual development plan
- Internship defense letter
- Analyses of selected lectures
- Civic engagement project reflection
- Informational interview and other writing or work assignments specific to your program
As I believe we have shown with our “Life After the English Major” posts, ALL career tracks are in need of good writers, or effective communicators, and so each internship is a viable opportunity for an English major. The great reward of internships is the firsthand work experience it provides, something 45% of employers look for when hiring. I think the worth of the internships TWC offers is made obvious by the list of organizations it works with. For more information on TWC, feel free to visit their website here, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. A brochure will be available in RB 295 as well. We will always strive to connect students with opportunities such as those TWC provides, so keep watching, BSU!