Six Questions with Alejandra Rodriguez

What did you like most about your internship?

Interning at the United States Environmental Protection Agency was amazing for so many reasons. The best part was working with a cabinet member and getting to work with appointed staff in a federal agency on the President’s priorities for the environment. I learned so much about environmental science and the Republican Party’s approach to sustainability. It ultimately opened up a newfound fervor for environmentalism for me.

Other than the internship, what was your favorite part of the program & why?

All of the seminars and events that TFAS held were by far the best professional development and networking opportunities I’ve ever experienced. At the Alumni Roundtable event, I met a TFAS alumnus who became my mentor for the summer, and he’s been extremely helpful even since I left D.C. We are frequently in touch and he’s truly been such an asset to my professional development. I never would’ve crossed paths with him without the Alumni Roundtable event. 

 What did you learn about yourself this summer?

I learned how adaptable I really am. My TFAS summer was the first time I had been away from home and out of the city that I was born and raised in. This brought a lot of changes, but I’m proud of the way I quickly adapted. Between learning to take the Metro everywhere to the way I communicated with people, I was really impressed when I realized how easily I can adjust to new environments. 

What surprised you most about Washington DC?

I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with the city the way I did. There was never a shortage of activities going on every day and there was always a new opportunity to learn something new inside The Beltway. 

What are your plans after graduation?  Did your TFAS summer impact those plans?

After graduating, I actually plan on attending George Mason University’s graduate school for a Master’s Degree in International Security. This decision was definitely impacted by my summer at TFAS where I took classes on the Arlington campus (where the graduate program is located) and met some excellent professors and staff. After doing research on the best graduate programs for the career I want to pursue, I found out that George Mason was #2 in the country for international security programs. The decision was easy.

What advice would you give to anyone considering TFAS for next summer?

Personally, the biggest deterrent for me was monetary. With that in mind, I encourage any student considering TFAS to make the investment no matter what the cost. TFAS was truly the experience of a lifetime, and now as an alumna, I can honestly say that I can’t put a price tag on the summer that I had.