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Community Leadership & Service

Networking & Events

IPVS gives you a backstage pass to Washington’s most powerful institutions that most students are only able to read about.

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You will be where history is made and network with to those making it. You will meet people and visit places that would not have been otherwise possible.

This program will broaden your professional horizons and academic insights all while having exclusive access to networking and special events, catered specifically to your interests and career goals.

“For me, IPVS was about more than just educational and professional development.  It was about personal exploration and challenging myself to do things that will make an impact in the community.  I will never forget all the friends and lasting memories I have made during my time with IPVS.”

Hunter Poole, University of Arkansas
Intern, YMCA of Greater Washington

Your time in the nation’s capital will open doors that you did not even know existed. Let us help you take advantage of all that the world’s most powerful city has to offer.


Professional Development

Your DC experience will include many opportunities to expand your professional skill set beyond your internship.  From seminars and panels to roundtable discussions and lectures, you will be able to make important career connections and fine tune your skills.

Professional Development Seminars

You will have access to weekly seminars, where local professionals offer advice and offer tips on how to succeed in today’s changing workplace. These sessions are designed to complement your internship experience and prepare you to stand out in the competitive job market.

Sample workshop topics include:

  • Job Searching
  • Networking
  • Fellowships
  • Public Speaking
  • Resume, Cover Letters, and Interviewing
  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Graduate School Admissions
  • Year of Service Opportunities
  • Work/Life Balance

You will take away valuable tips and techniques that will help determine your career goals and how to best achieve success.

“TFAS provides the perfect summer experience for any student searching for a meaningful, well-rounded experience. Not only do they show students why you should care about issues in your community, your country, and your world, but they also teach you how to make an important difference by using your passions.”

Katie Gordon, Alma College
Intern, Community Bridges

Networking Roundtables & Events

You will have many chances to put your networking skills to the test. During the program, you will have access to contacts in your field of interest at events including business receptions, dinners and book discussions.

A past favorite among students is the Alumni Roundtable Networking Dinner, where you will be able to interact with accomplished alumni in various fields. Many alumni highlight how their LIVE. LEARN. INTERN. experience was a starting point for their career and how they leveraged their DC internship into a future internship or full-time job.

Program alumni can be a valuable connection for you both professionally and socially. Our alumni network of over 13,000 stretches across the globe. Many students stay in touch with alumni long after the program has ended and utilize them as resources throughout their career.

Briefings & Special Events

In addition to courses and real work experience, IPVS gives you behind the scenes exposure to some of the city’s most influential institutions and organizations.

You will have a front row seat to a variety of exclusive briefings and uniquely DC events, allowing you to delve deeper into your field of interest, make important professional connections and have fun while doing so.

These briefings give you special access to many of Washington’s most restricted places, many of which are only possible through an organized internship program such as IPVS.

You will have the chance to attend once in a lifetime tours and hear from leaders within such powerful institutions as:

  • American Red Cross Headquarters
  • United States Department of State
  • United States Capitol – Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • World Bank

Another highlight of your time as an IPVS student will be the Grant Awards Reception, in which students award a grant to a worthy DC-based nonprofit organization with the money raised through the class project. Past grant recipients include Beacon House, Mentors of Minorities in Education and Shared Hope, Inc.

If you are like many students seeking to gain a broader international perspective through your DC experience, then you’ll want to mark your calendar for the program’s annual Embassy Day. You will have the chance to visit an international embassy and hear from diplomatic corps members about their nation’s current events, economic and political situations, and relationship with the United States.

“The special events made possible by IPVS may have been my favorite part of the program. I was able to do things in DC that I never thought possible like sit on the floor of the House of Representatives at the US Capitol- I was a part of history.”

Devon Clark, Elon University
Intern, DC Scores

Past embassy visits include:

  • British Embassy
  • Embassy of Australia
  • Embassy of Brazil
  • Embassy of Chile
  • Embassy of the Czech Republic
  • Embassy of Estonia
  • Embassy of France
  • Embassy of Greece
  • Embassy of Hungary
  • Embassy of Israel
  • Embassy of Japan
  • Embassy of the Republic of Korea
  • Embassy of the Republic of Poland
  • Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office

These briefings and special events will keep you busy throughout the summer as you take advantage of opportunities that many students only dream of. Through IPVS, you will broaden your horizon and gain access to an insider’s view of the nation’s capital. This is the real Washington, DC experience.

Mentor Program

One of the many networking opportunities that distinguishes our internship program from others is the optional Professional Mentor Program. Many students rate this component as one of the most valuable aspects of their DC Experience. In fact, students and mentors often stay in contact well after they leave Washington.

Your mentor will be a contact on the ground before you arrive in DC and is available to answer questions even before you leave your hometown. Most importantly, your mentor will be in contact during your internship and will provide:

  • Tips for living in Washington
  • Career advice
  • Networking contacts
  • Introductions to the best spots in the city for food, fun, and activities

Over 300 Washington, DC area professionals volunteer to be matched with you and your fellow classmates throughout your time in DC. Your mentor will be paired with you based on your field of study, career goals, college or university, hometown, and other factors.

We even host a “Meet Your Mentor Breakfast” where you get the opportunity to meet with your mentor in person and plan your other meetings during your stay in Washington.

“My mentor was able to give me direct and honest information about any subject I asked about. I enjoyed meeting someone who had taken a career path that I was hoping to take myself.”

Freddy Mitsdarfer, Neumann College
Intern, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship

Explore DC

Bring your Washington, DC experience full circle by exploring the social, cultural and historical aspects of this vibrant capital city. You will be exposed to a great deal of professional and academic opportunities, but your program experience will also give you a taste of everyday life in DC.

Social Events

Attend social events to get acquainted with fellow students and see a more relaxed side of the city:

  • National’s baseball game - Catch a major league game at National’s Park and support the home team, the Washington Nationals.
  • Canoeing on the Potomac - Spend an afternoon on the river with other students while enjoying the summer weather.
  • The National Zoo - Visit the animals of Washington’s own world renowned Smithsonian National Zoo.
  • Ice Cream Socials & Study Breaks - Take a break from your usual obligations to enjoy a few snacks and get to know other program participants.
  • Volleyball Tournament - Get some exercise and have some fun playing volleyball with other students on beach courts right under the Lincoln Memorial

History & Culture 

You will gain valuable knowledge and embrace the history of D.C. by taking part in these great tours and events:

  • Tour of the National Monuments - A professional tour guide will lead you on a twilight tour of the city’s most famous monuments.
  • Mt. Vernon - Spend the day at the historic home of George and Martha Washington located on the banks of the picturesque Potomac River.
  • Newseum - Take a trip through history at Washington, DC’s most interactive museum.
  • Jazz in the Garden - Visit the National Sculpture Garden on Friday evenings throughout the summer to admire unique works of art while enjoying live jazz music.

“TFAS has taught me so much and opened many doors in DC.  Washington is filled with opportunities and events - with IPVS you are able to take advantage them all.”

Rachel Freeman, University of Arkansas
Intern, YMCA of the National Capital Area

Service & Volunteering

DC’s concentration of leading nonprofit organizations makes it the perfect place to get involved and make a difference in an urban area. On Service Saturday, students team up to help serve the needs of the inner-city community and discuss how these challenges affect policy decisions.

Students visit a number of service sites, including those listed below. Issue areas addressed include hunger, the environment, senior services, poverty, education and many more.

  • Jubilee Jobs
  • Trust for the National Mall
  • Washington Parks & People
  • Food and Friends
  • IONA Senior Services
  • Martha’s Table
  • Living Classrooms