The rules for life after college have changed. Learn how you can help your child prepare for their future career.
Majors are no longer a direct path to a career. The options are wider. The competition is tougher. Hiring managers expect new hires, even at entry-level positions, to have some professional experience.
By participating in The Washington Center (TWC), your child will have the opportunity to fully dedicate one semester of their college education gaining that invaluable professional experience that will prepare them for their future careers and for life after college. TWC helps them shorten the path to their first post-graduate job, and allows them to stand out over other candidates.
Only one-third (34%) of students strongly agree that they will graduate with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in the job market. And just half (53%) believe their major will lead to a good job2017 College Student Survey of more than 32,000 college students
Our program offers the type of professional experience that hiring managers seek. At the same time, your child will receive academic credit while participating in the program, allowing them to graduate on time. For a semester or summer, they will put their classroom learning to work for businesses and organizations in Washington, D.C., allowing them to explore a wide range of opportunities and build a strong professional network that will accompany them throughout their professional careers.
For more than 40 years, TWC has been endorsed by over 400 colleges and universities across the United States that consider our program an extension of their campuses in Washington D.C. Universities trust TWC to offer their students a high-quality experience with the infrastructure and personal attention they've come to expect on campus. We have over 90 full-time staff dedicated to ensuring your child's well-being, professional development and growth while participating in the program.
What is the cost of The Washington Center? Is financial assistance available?
The Washington Center has both a program and housing fee, which varies based on when your child would like to participate. However, our fees are generally offset by financial assistance or through arrangements with your child's school. TWC is affiliated with more than 400 colleges and universities in the United States so that the cost of participation is the equivalent to the cost of a semester on campus. Since every school costs different, the final cost will depend on how the program works at your child’s specific college or university.
To ensure access to this unique, advantageous experience, we work hard to offer a number of private scholarships from our various partners, in addition to generous state funding for students from public institutions in select states. Your student may be eligible to receive funding made available for campus leaders, students from diverse backgrounds, members of honor societies and programs, students with disabilities and more.
We also recommend that your child check with the financial aid office on their campus before applying to the program, to see if their aid package can be applied toward TWC costs.
What makes The Washington Center internship program worth it? What do students gain from the experience?
Students in the Academic Internship Program (AIP) intern in Washington, D.C. alongside a cohort of their peers, living and learning together. TWC interns make invaluable networking connections, acquire resume filling skills and assemble a portfolio of actual work samples and experiences needed for future job interviews.
Living in a city like Washington D.C. offers them access to invaluable contacts in the professional world, since D.C. is a city that centers around networking. In many circumstances, this professional network will lead to future jobs in D.C. and around the country.
TWC’s LEAD programming also develops soft skills that build career competencies that can only be earned through experience. Your child will work with an dedicated advisor who will help them create a professional brand and a plan for life after college.
Are student interns covered by workplace protections?
Students interning through AIP are governed by the TWC Code of Conduct and our Internship Bill of Rights. While they are not employees at their respective internship sites, TWC enforces a zero tolerance policy on workplace harassment and other workplace-related issues. Our staff conduct a visit to every student's internship site once a semester to discuss and ensure their progress with both the intern and their supervisor.
TWC expects all of our students enter the AIP with personal health insurance to cover any illness or injury that may occur while they are here.
Will this delay my child's graduation?
Each of our college and university partners are required to offer credit hours/units for AIP. How many is dependent on the individual school. With proper planning, the credit hours/units received may not affect graduation timing. Always ensure that your child contact their TWC campus liaison prior to applying to discuss how many credit hours/units are available at their institution. If your child is unsure of who the campus liaison may be, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to provide the liaison’s name and contact information.
What is the housing situation? What safety measures are in place?
The majority of students live in TWC's Residential and Academic Facility (RAF), located in the thriving neighborhood of NoMa, or in a comparable building within close proximity. Our residences are considered "luxury-style apartments", and include fully furnished units with washer-dryer, fully equipped kitchens, TV, wi-fi and dishwasher. Apartments are primarily two-bedroom, two-bath units with a shared common space of living room, kitchen and dining area. All buildings offer a computer lab, fitness center, lounge. The majority of our academic and professional development programs take place at the RAF, so the majority of students do not have to leave the building at all to attend them.
Students may request a roommate when they submit their profile. For those students who do not select their own roommate, TWC pairs them based on a percentage of match indicated by the personality information they share in their profile.
Ensuring the safety and security of our students is a top priority for The Washington Center and the Housing and Community Life department. TWC housing complexes are electronic access only, featuring 24-hour front desk teams comprised of concierge and security staff with 100% ID checks. We also have dedicated staff who live in all our buildings, known as Alumni Mentors, who offer support 24 hours a day.
What materials are necessary for application?
Application materials for AIP consist of a resume, an issues essay, a statement of professional interest, a college transcript and two letters of recommendation. Each component fills a specific need in student evaluation. These materials are critical in matching the right student with the right organization.
My child has been accepted. What happens next?
Once accepted into the program, the student will be contacted by their TWC internship advisor. Together, they will work on determining what type of organization may be the right fit, revisiting the resume to ensure it stands out professionally and talking through any questions the student may have at this point about the process, D.C. life or other AIP components.
How much does it cost to live in D.C. for 10 or 15 weeks?
Living on an intern budget in Washington, D.C. is not impossible. Spending can vary widely, depending on what (and how much) a student chooses to get out and do while here. Keep in mind that the cost of housing is covered by the time your child arrives, so they should prepare a budget for the following expenses:
- Entertainment (movies, concerts, etc.)
- Dining out
Overall, we’d recommend you budget something between $115 and $170 per week for all your general expenses in D.C. No two people will spend money the same way. Everyone has different habits, means and priorities. It is important for students to be flexible about their spending over the first few weeks while getting their bearings. Smart budgeting for grocery shopping, dining out, transportation and entertainment will help students enjoy their time in D.C. to the fullest.
What organized activities or programs are there for the students to get acclimated to D.C.?
During move-in, orientation and opening weekend, the Housing and Community Life team, plus the Academic LEAD Instructors, work closely with the student body to acclimate them to the buildings, the neighborhood, and to the D.C. community. Our teams provide students with safety and security orientations for community and neighborhood safety awareness and a term called “urban common sense.” Additionally, events are scheduled on an ongoing basis to foster a sense of community and belonging. These events may include tours, metro sessions, small group meetings, floor introductions and more.