The Washington Center for Internships

Learn more about one of our student's experience in Washington DC. Maybe you will be next?

Nathan Hudak

1. What was is your name, major/minor, and career goals? a. Nathan Hayduk. I am a dual major here at Kutztown studying German language and Political Science. I hope to one day work for the state department as a diplomat. 2. What area of focus did you select at TWC and where did you do your internship? Why there-what did you do that was tied to your focus area and career goal? a. I selected to do my internship in the international relations field by interning at AMIDEAST. They are an NGO with field offices all over the Middle East and North Africa that works to create mutual understanding between the people of the Middle East and those of the United States. They try to offer opportunities for learning and training in both directions. They believe strongly in the power of citizen diplomacy and fit perfectly in my career goals as someone who wants to work in international relations as well as in the diplomatic field. Not only does the organization work closely with embassies due to the nature of their work, but I was also constantly creating and looking over material that would be distributed throughout their field offices in the Middle East and North Africa. 3. Why did you want to participate in the TWC program? a. I am a firm believer in taking advantage of the opportunities that are around you. Kutztown has so many that available to students, many of which, students do not pay attention to even know that they are options. I saw an email promoting the organization, so I decided to reach out and see what it was all about. After learning more by going to the Career Development Center I felt that it was a great fit to get me industry experience in Washington, DC while earning 12 credits back at Kutztown. Not only this but with the grants available from Pennsylvania as well as the ability to put your tuition towards the endeavor, it just made sense. 4. Describe the TWC application process and steps you needed to take here at KU to make it happen (Advisor/Academic Dept, Fin Aid, CDC). a. I first reached out to the CDC to get more information on the program. After I decided it was something that I wanted to pursue, I applied using the TWC online portal. It didn’t take too long but you do have to write a few essays as well as have two letters of recommendation so that is something to keep in mind. You will then be notified if you have been selected to be apart of the program. To participate, you have to ensure that you will be getting credit for your time in DC. This just means you have to reach out to your major’s department and fill out some paperwork to prove that this is the case. You are then paired with a TWC advisor and after talking about your interests with them and going over your resume, they will submit your application to some internship sights that they think will fit you. If an internship site thinks that you may be a good fit, they will reach out for an interview. You may have interviews with multiple organizations and if multiple offers are made, you will have to decide on which internship you would like to participate in. 5. Describe the housing facilities, roommate placements, dining, traveling, etc. a. The housing at TWC is sett up as apartment-style housing. You use something similar to My College Roomie used at KU to find a roommate. I ended up getting a fantastic roommate who I spent a lot of my time with. The other two people in my apartment were from Gibraltar. You have a full kitchen and living room as well as a washer and dryer within your apartment which was nice. The furniture tended to be a little older and showed some wear but that was my only criticism of the housing. You live in a very young and upcoming part of the city with many food options around you. For someone like myself who is always on a budget, there is a Giant less than a five-minute walk away which was wonderful. You also live right on the Red Line. The subway system will get you anywhere in the city and is incredibly clean. I would recommend looking to get a monthly pass if your internship site does not provide you with a stipend for transportation. 6. Describe orientation day. a. Orientation day can be a bit crazy just like any freshman orientation day you might find on campus here. You arrive in a brand new place and move all of your stuff in. There are a bunch of seminars that go over the rules as well as introduce you to your RA’s. These people are not only your RA’s though, but they are also networking contacts who have jobs in every corner of DC. They also do a good job of giving you some optional seminars on how to navigate DC for someone who’s never been there as well as places to go, see, and things to do. 7. Describe the courses they offered and your experience with the one you took. a. You are required to take two courses while at TWC. One is a professional development course held on Fridays, the other, is a night class that you got to choose before being in DC. The night class is a full three-hour long course that you may be able to receive credit for depending on your department. I took Political Psychology but there were classes on foreign policy, how to manage nonprofits, and many others. I did not know what to expect when going into my class but it ended up being a fantastic experience. The professor was very passionate about the subject which made his teaching super interesting. He also wasn’t afraid to let students truly let their minds flow in class, as long as it was on topic, which was a fun atmosphere. Don’t get me wrong though. After an eight hour workday, it can be a long day if you still have to go to a three-hour class from 6:30 to 9:30 at night. 8. Describe the Professional Development days on Fridays. a. As previously mentioned, one of the classes required for you to take is a professional development class on Fridays. Here you will learn all about your professional self, learn your strengths and weaknesses, and work on what you want your professional life to look like moving forward. A fun thing that you will get to do in this class is go for site visits two times during your time in DC. Some examples of this was being with the DC capitol police for the day, a White House tour, touring NPR, going to the Boeing collaborative space, as well as attending workshops for different industries and causes. b. 9. Describe the community service component. a. At the beginning of the year, TWC brings in different community service organizations that you can volunteer at. You are certainly not limited to these though. You are welcome to go out and find some volunteering opportunities on your own and some classes may even require you to do so. TWC also provides opportunities for you to volunteer as well such as neighborhood cleanup days. 10. What fun stuff did you do while down there? a. I got to do a lot of cool things in DC mostly through networking opportunities. I was able to meet Cal Ripkin Jr at the state department, take a tour of the capitol, take a tour of the White House, have lunch in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, and talk with many current and former diplomats and people in my field. Since I love to be active, I loved to run. Due to the proximity of TWC to the capital building and the national mall, each night I would make a loop around the capitol building or if I wanted to extend it I would run and do a loop around the mall. Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats being able to see Washington, DC at night. I was also apart of an ultimate frisbee league that played on the national mall which I always thought was fun to be able to play under the Washington monument each Saturday. 11. What did you love most and least about the program? a. Each internship is a different experience based on what you like and doesn’t like. I loved my internship location and the people there. Although I got to do more than most within a company, I did not do as much for my organization within the city. I spent most of my days in the building and not being able to travel to other government buildings in DC to be able to work with/see other areas of government. This was certainly something I was able to take advantage of on my own though. 12. How do you believe your participation in the program has benefitted you already? How do you think it will benefit you in the future with your career plan? a. By being in the TWC program I have been able to make many contacts in DC. These are people that I will be able to stay in touch with and contact at future dates if I find myself back in the DC area or need of a contact within the industry. While I was in DC a met someone who worked for the Small Business Administration. After talking with them over lunch I was made aware that Kutztown University had a Small Business Development Center. Since I was interested in international relations and politics, I was put in contact with the director of international trade. I am now working for the SBDC this semester as a research assistant for international trade and agriculture. 13. What do you want to share with KU students about the program? What’s important for them to know? a. A program like this does not have to be expensive. Not only does the state subsidize about half of the cost, but your tuition can also usually be paid towards this experience. Therefore, it is often the same price as attending KU if not less and you can gain valuable experience and resume-building opportunities while still getting credit for attending KU. A no brainer in my mind.