My Washington D.C. Experience

KATELYN VANBUSKIRK | FEATURES COLUMNIST

When I first decided to go to Washington D.C., I was very hesitant. It is very nerve-wracking going to a place where you do not know anyone or anything. I decided to take a leap of faith last semester and do the “Washington Semester” at the Washington Media Institute. Being a part of the program guarantees you have an internship full-time while you are taking classes full-time in D.C.

Going to D.C. was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I ended up doing my internship at then CNN News Network in the public relations office. I gained tremendous experience and ended up going to the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas.

Looking back, it was so silly to be as nervous as I was. While the “Washington Semester” is not the popular option compared to study abroad, I think it is the most useful. Today there are no entry-level jobs. Every job you will be applying to after graduation, no matter what the field, will require experience. Today, some internships you have to have experience to even get an interview. It is very competitive.

To go to D.C. means beefing up your resume so that you can be more appealing to employers upon graduation. While I was in Washington, I was also able to make many connections that I can use in the future to help me get a job. Going to D.C. definitely helped me advance my network and helped me meet a lot of interesting people.

If you are trying to decide whether to go abroad or go to D.C., I say 100 percent to go to Washington. Gaining real world experience while being in a new place is more beneficial when it comes to your future career. While going abroad is a good experience, I think going to D.C. was more useful for my career. I had the time of my life last semester, and I cannot wait to go back this summer.

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