I cannot stress enough the importance of networking. For years I have been told that networking is a critical part of climbing up the social and professional ladder. Nowhere is the more true than in the nation’s capital. Since I have been in DC, I have learned first hand the importance of shaking hands and making connections (with the right people, of course). DC is a small city, which makes networking that more important—especially if you are hoping to land a job here afterwards. Plus, practice makes perfect. A strong network goes a long way. No matter where you want to end up, DC is a great place to start building your professional network. You never know when a friend in a Congress member’s office might come in handy. Moreover, it never hurts to have a ton of people in your address book; it makes you feel important. You should strive to be like the people in those Verizon commercial. Take it from them; having the one of the strongest networks is great thing.
As an added bonus, most of the prime networking events feature free food and drinks. So go practice your introduction, get your suits and business cards ready, and build up your network one Washingtonian at a time!
When I started TWC, I have had my fair share of amazing experiences. I had the opportunity to do things that many individuals only dream of doing. Just the other day, I was walking from my office, all of sudden, Henry Paulson shows up. For those of us who are not economics junkies, Henry Paulson is a former Secretary of The Treasury. The chance to speak to Henry Paulson, or any person in government, is an opportunity that so many people—especially those political junkies—would die for. However, while meeting government officials is pretty cool, the best people to meet are the folks in TWC.
No joke, the guys and gals in TWC are some of the most amazing people out there. Since I’ve been in DC, I have met people from all around the country with so many amazing life experiences. Coming from the Northeast, I never envisioned interacting with someone from Wyoming or Montana, yet alone, forming a legitimate friendship. Coming from the Northeast, I had no idea about life in the states between the Coasts; I couldn’t even tell you where Indiana was on a map. However, since I have been here, I have gained a whole new outlook on life. It is so interesting to hear the perspectives that individuals outside of NYC or LA have on life, and I feel that my conservations with folks from Arkansas or Texas have allowed to grow tremendously. Living with such a diverse group of people has helped me shatter many, if not all, of the views I had coming into the program. I just wish that some of these would move to Jersey, so that they can keep me from falling back into my old ways of thinking.
No matter what your interests may be, there are so many things to do in DC. Whether you are a political junkie, love to read, or are a straight-up “go getter”, DC is a great place to be. However, before you rush to join in on extracurricular activates, remember this: TWC work is extremely important!!
It is easy to forget while you’re working in such an amazing city that you are also a student. I sure know that I did forget this sometimes (or maybe a lot). It is important that while in DC you make the most of your time. Go and establish those connections, meet that interesting author on a subject that only you enjoy, but remember, as part of TWC you must wear two hats. It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget about your obligations (i.e. portfolio, journals, etc.). So make sure that you devote ample time to getting these things out of the way.
The most important part to completing everything to manage your time effectively.
Here are a few tips that might help.
1. Make a work schedule—and stick to it. Designate particular days as “TWC work days.” Does not have to be an entire day; it could be just two hours three times during the week. However, do not designate days that you know you will likely go out (i.e. no Friday or Saturday nights).
2. Do work with your roommates. It is more enjoyable to work together—at least for me—than it is to work by yourself sometimes. Plus, seeing other people doing work may be just the right motivation.
3. Start EARLY!!! I cannot stress this point enough. Although the work is not that difficult, it is rather time consuming. Attack each assignment as soon as you get it and, before you know it, you will be done.
As far as what I did over the weekend, it was probably one of the greatest weekends since I got down here…
On Saturday, my sweet tooth was going wild!! So my neighbors, and friends from TWC and I went to Coco Sala, a chocolate boutique here in DC. It was probably the best chocolate I have ever tasted in my life. I got the “Onyx” which consists of dark chocolate mousse / vanilla crème brulee salted caramel / crispy pearls / brownie. After indulging on such a great desert, we headed to the National Archives to tour. The line was unnecessarily long. As much as I appreciate the fact that the original Constitution, and Declaration of Independence and all these great documents are still intact, waiting for 45 minutes was just not worth it to me. Lol Sorry America.
On Sunday, another group of friends and I headed over to the Washington Monument to view the nation’s capital from 500ft in the air. Great sight!! Gotta admit its so beautiful seeing all the buildings that our government operates out of all at the same time. After coming down in the 70-second elevator ride, we hit the National Mall area for some two-hand touch football in some great 70 degree weather. Great game, great group of people, great weather. Couldn’t ask for a better weekend.