TFAS programs are so much more than just academics and internships! Whether in-person or in the virtual environment, participation in our program will give you numerous opportunities to build your professional network and gain insider job-seeking tips. You will have a backstage pass to Washington institutions that most students are only able to read about.
In TFAS programs, students continue learning outside of the walls of the traditional classroom. Our program will give 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, learning more about the mission of the institution and its policy priorities.
These briefings give you special access to many of Washington’s most exclusive places, such as:
- U.S. Department of State
- United States Capitol – Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives
- World Bank
- Federal Reserve
- Eisenhower Executive Office Building – White House Complex
- Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
- The National Press Club
- Central Intelligence Agency
- National Defense University
- U.S. Institute of Peace
- The Pentagon
- Embassies (examples: Great Britain, Australia, Sweden, Japan, Mexico, Estonia, Greece)
“This summer, I got to go beyond being a tourist in Washington and actually experience the work life of this city. I had the chance to visit the State Department, U.S. Institute of Peace and the U.S. Capitol. I took amazing classes and made life-long friends along the way. In the past two months, I have grown so much professionally, intellectually and personally.”Sadia Saba, Bard College
Intern, United Nations Association of the National Capital Area
Professional Development Seminars
TFAS offers optional seminars each week that focus on different professional development themes. Students are encouraged to attend as many seminars as they’d like throughout the program.
The interactive sessions are led by local professionals from a variety of career fields, and are designed to help prepare you to stand out in the competitive job market after graduation. Many of the speakers are glad to hand out their business cards and continue the conversation.
“My time in D.C. has helped identify my passion, put me in touch with professionals in my field, and made more competitive academically and professionally. Previously, I didn’t have much professional exposure to international affairs. Now that I’ve spent a summer in D.C., I feel more comfortable navigating the opportunities available to me.”Shankara Narayanan, University of Connecticut
Intern, National Defense University – College of International Security
Sample topics include:
- Networking Tips to Get Ahead: Learn How to Make Valuable Connections
- Job Searching + Negotiating Tips
- Communication Styles in the Workplace: Give Effective Input + Be Heard
- Work/Life Balance Post College: Managing Your Personal + Professional Priorities
- Public Speaking
- Resume, Cover Letter, and Interviewing
- Personal Financial Planning
- Graduate School Admissions
- International Fellowships
- Year of Service Opportunities
Career + Industry Exploration
Designed to help you explore a variety of career paths and to further build your network, TFAS plans a series of career-focused panels and small group discussions led by professionals working in a range of fields and industries.
From these insiders, you’ll learn about important topics affecting job seekers in your field:
- Day to date responsibilities of entry level and senior positions
- Pressing policy issues
- Current climate for finding a job in your field
- Typical starting salaries
- Advice on job searching and breaking into a particular field
“I’ve spent every day here with a purpose to connect with professionals and build lifelong friendships. I’ve had many great conversations over coffee and at program events that have helped me explore career possibilities and apply the advice in my professioanl journey.”Spencer Daugherty, DeSales University
Students will have the opportunity to participate in sessions associated with their program track. Past small group meetings and career panels have featured:
- Amazon Government Affairs
- Caterpillar, Inc. Government Affairs
- CIA: Intelligence Careers
- Clark Hill, PLC: Law Careers
- Defense Consulting Careers
- Economic Innovation Group: Public Policy Careers
- Ford Motor Company Government Affairs
- Humanitarian Aid + Relief Careers
- National Geographic
- National Public Radio
- NBC News
- Public Diplomacy Careers
- Office of U.S. Congressman Mark Takano (D): Legislative Careers
- Stateside Associates: State-based Government Affairs
- Uber Government Affairs Careers
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Careers
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- U.S. Department of State Careers
- U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee: Communications Careers
- United Nations Careers
- U.S. Trade + Development Agency Careers
In DC it’s often not “what you know,” but “who you know.” Establishing a professional network is critical for success in job searching after graduation. The optional Professional Mentor Program is one of the many networking opportunities that we offer during the 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 the program ends. Connections like these are invaluable when you enter the post-grad world.
Your mentor will be in contact with you before and during your internship to provide:
- Tips for living in Washington
- Career advice
- Networking contacts
- Introductions to the best spots in the city for food, fun, and activities
“My mentor was fantastic! He was truthful and honest when talking to me, and I sincerely appreciated that. He really took an interest in my career path and future plans.”Cody Oglesby, Dalton State University
Intern, Hohlt Group
Over 300 Washington, DC-area professionals volunteer to be matched with as mentors with TFAS program participants. Your mentor will be paired with you based on your field of study, career goals, college or university, hometown, and other factors.
TFAS hosts a “Meet Your Mentor Breakfast” where you get the opportunity to meet with your mentor in person and plan other meetings during your stay in Washington. If public health conditions do not allow for large in-person gatherings, a kick-off webinar is planned instead.
“My mentor the best mentor that I could have asked for. She was ridiculously involved with me and really augmented my summer experience in TFAS. She has given me phenomenal advice on living in DC.”Ashni Bhojwani, Clemson University
Intern, Campaign for Youth Justice
The Alumni Roundtable and Networking Dinner has become one of the top-rated events of the program. Students meet and interact with 60 accomplished program alumni representing a variety of industries.
The event features:
- Introductions and career advice from all alumni facilitators
- Interactive small roundtable discussions over dinner
- Alumni and student networking dessert reception
Many alumni facilitators highlight how their experience in the program was a starting point for their career and how they leveraged their D.C. internship into a future internship or full-time job.
Program alumni can be a valuable connection both professionally and socially during your time in DC and beyond. Alumni represent many fields including international affairs, business, public policy, and the media. Our alumni network of more than 18,000 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.
“I am so grateful for the opportunities the program provided to me. I now get to join an alumni network of individuals with similar interests, many of whom work in D.C. I am now connected to so many people who are eager to help a fellow member of the TFAS Alumni Network.”Jennifer Hudson, Wheaton College
Intern, Washington Parks and People
This event may be translated into the virtual space through a “speed networking format,” resulting in an increased number of alumni that each student had access to. In 2020, following opening remarks, alumni were moved from breakout room to breakout room on a set schedule, allowing small groups of students to meet directly with multiple alumni. Read more about this successful event here.