Braving the cold winter weather, over 60 Middlebury Institute students headed to Washington D.C. during spring break for the annual Career Exploration Week, which featured meetings with 38 potential employers. Students had the opportunity to visit organizations from a variety of sectors, industries, and academic fields, ranging from the World Bank to Thomsen Reuters World Check.
Students met with employers and employees at each location to learn about internship opportunities and working for the organization, and ask questions about the workplace. Many of the representatives the students met with are alumni of the Institute.
Plans were thrown into disarray briefly on Wednesday when a snowstorm caused the federal government to close. “The snow was unexpected but welcome,” says Erwin Alberty MBA ’19, before going on to explain that the silver lining was that he got to “see the city, and enjoy the snow.” Career advisor Scott Webb also puts a positive spin on the situation. “While unfortunate, it showed students what life is like in D.C., which includes March being an insane weather month. I’m sure the day after we left you could sip an espresso at an outdoor café with the cherry blossoms in full bloom.”
Even though the snowstorm affected plans for Wednesday, more opportunities followed with a networking session on Thursday for students, alumni, and employers. Due to the cancelation of events on Wednesday, prospective students who planned on attending a panel discussion that day instead joined the networking reception.
Other opportunities available to Institute students during the week included the Devex Forum with representatives from “under-the-radar” organizations doing innovative work within the development field. Another event was the InterAction session on food security at the U.S. Senate Building, where Senator Casey spoke about the importance of the Global Food Security Act and audience members were given the chance to ask panelists such as Amy Davies, vice president for food security and agriculture of RTI International, questions about the field of food security and future career opportunities.
Gerard Lanzano MAIEP ’20 says he appreciates the opportunities presented during the Career Exploration Week. “All the organizations were so friendly and welcoming, it created a great space for asking questions and learning more about the interesting opportunities they offer.”
During the week, the students not only had the chance to have face-to-face time with members of potential employers, but also with many alumni working in the field. “It was a really eye-opening experience — as a student in Monterey you do not realize all the possible opportunities and jobs being created within your field,” Alberty explained. “Then you get the chance to speak to an alum and experience for yourself all the life-changing possibilities and impactful work that you, too, can be a part of.”
In its third year, the Middlebury Institute’s spring break career and networking trip to Washington D.C. again grew in size and scope with more participants, added site visits and info sessions, and a new policy-focused career fair.