Washington Semester Program Guest Speakers

Washington Semester Program Guest Speakers

A key part of American University’s Washington Semester Program is the guest speakers. Sometimes my class travels downtown to the office of the speaker while other times they travel to American’s campus to speak to us in the classroom. Our speakers range from a partner of the media firm that produced all of Bernie Sander’s presidential campaign advertisements, to Republican and Democratic Congressmen, to people from lobbying and advocacy groups in various areas of policy.

The speaker’s organization is usually related to what we are learning about in class. They typically talk about their career and their organization and its mission. Usually the speaker will end by providing their contact information. People in Washington are always looking for the next generation that will be replacing them so they can ensure their goals and messages will persist. Students walk out of these class sessions with a new knowledge about the way Washington works, new career paths not previously known, and specific organizations they can contact to get involved.

I myself have gotten numerous business cards from speakers in organizations I found inspiring. I have also explored new parts of Washington. Such as the bookstore Politics & Prose owned by the class speaker and former speech writer for Hillary Clinton. I have also learned about different ways to get involved and influence policy.

The Washington Semester Program does an excellent job combining experiential learning through internships, traditional learning through seminars and lectures, and career development through guest speakers. I believe I will be leaving this program with growth in so many different areas that I may not have expected, which I am very grateful for!

Trin Alums are Everywhere!

Trin Alums are Everywhere!

Last Wednesday, I was attending an education policy event at the National Press Club. After taking the elevator up to the 13th floor, the doors opened up to a magnificent lobby. After checking in, grabbing my name tag, and picking up the event literature, I found my seat. I mingled with my table mates for a few minutes until the warm, inviting aroma of coffee wafted to my nose. I looked at the breakfast table and saw an array of coffee and pastries. Exhausted and hungry at 8 in the morning, I made my way over to the refreshments table. To my surprise, another woman at the refreshment table turned to me and asked, “Did I hear you say you attend Trinity College?”

After confirming that I do attend Trinity, the woman remarked that she was an alumna of Trinity. Turns out the alumna was Catherine Millett, Senior Research Scientist at Policy Evaluation & Research Center, and she was organizing the whole event. I was incredibly surprised to meet an alumna at such a random event. But, as I turned back to the room from the refreshment table I realized that I now knew one person and felt much more confident and comfortable. Catherine and I were able to connect over our love for both Trinity and education policy. After the event, I got a picture with Catherine and sent her an email congratulating her on such a wonderful event, and thanking her for mentioning that she also went to Trinity.

After my last blog was posted on the Trinity College Admissions Instagram, an alum in D.C. commented on the post. Kristin Duquette ’13 works at FEMA right behind the U.S. Department of Education building that I work in. She was interested in connecting and I followed her up on her offer. The next week, Kristin and I met for lunch at the cafeteria of the American Indian Museum near both of our offices. Kristin and I connected over our Trinity experiences and affinity for all things D.C. She emphasized how important it is to speak up for yourself, find things you are passionate about and know that it is okay to not have a plan. Kristin has an extensive resume, and I was honored to get words of wisdom from such an amazing woman.

It is no surprise to anyone that Trinity has such an incredible alumni network. This week, I got to experience it firsthand and meet two wonderful alumni that took time out of their day to speak to me. Trinity alums show up in the most random places and are always willing to create a connection with students and help them in any way they can. At the least, students and alums have the opportunity to bond over their great experiences ‘neath the elms.

Things I Learned After My First Semester

Things I Learned After My First Semester

Even though this is only my second semester here at Trinity, I can confidently say that I have learned a lot, in and out of class. For most, going to college for the first time is a major transition, so there is a lot to learn.

Lesson #1- Learn how to manage your time wisely:

My first couple weeks at school, I was amazed at all of the free time I had. I wasn’t really used to having only a couple hours of class everyday and was overwhelmed by my free time. That being said, if you feel that you have a lot of ‘free time’, realize that it is never ‘free’- take advantage of that time and get ahead on work before everything starts piling up.

Lesson #2- Befriend your professors 

One of the major perks about this school is the size. Some of my classes consisted of only ten people which may seem intimidating, but you will soon realize and appreciate how close you can get with your professors. Every professor has office hours which you should really take advantage of. Even if you don’t have a question about the class, go in and have a conversation with them about anything! They will appreciate your efforts to reach out and it will benefit you in the long run. It is also nice to know a little background about your teachers, know where they came from, why they started teaching, and they will always have tips and suggestions for you!

Lesson #3- Try new things

It is really easy to continue your old ways because that is what makes many people feel comfortable, especially when in a new environment. It is important that you branch out, do something you would never have done. Join a club, try out for a sports team (even if its just at the club level), try foods you have never tried, take a class you never thought you would take before, and most importantly- meet new people. It is important to expand your horizons and  be open-minded because you will find out a lot about yourself that you had not previously known.

Lesson #4- Find your place of relaxation

I am not going to lie, college can be very stressful and it is important to learn how to cope with that stress and anxiety. Find that little niche at the Underground Cafe where you can listen to music, find a bench on the quad where you can sit outside and enjoy the environment around you, or find that cozy spot in your room where you can take a nice nap, and relax.

Lesson #5- Have fun!

For many, college will be the best four years of their life. It is a time to explore yourself, have fun, experience new things, and of course, learn. Be social, go out, and enjoy yourself from time to time. Make the most of your four years.

How to Utilize The Bantam Network

How to Utilize The Bantam Network

Last week, a friend from Trinity visited me here in Rome, Italy, where I am currently studying as a member of Trinity’s Rome Program. Although we went sight-seeing and tried new restaurants together, the majority of my friend’s time was not spent with me, but rather in an office. Indeed, as a first-semester senior who was already offered a job in Rome, she had spent last week enjoying an employer-paid visit to attend a week-long conference. Come July, her job will officially begin.


I asked her how she had gotten so lucky.  She replied simply, “I interned there last summer.”

My friend’s experience reinforced what I had already suspected, that internships are an integral and necessary rite of passage for any successful college student. Yet, from the experience of most millennials, these internships are also often unpaid and, depending on where you are from, could be inconveniently located. Certainly, finding the perfect internship, and later, the perfect job, can be a very daunting task.  Fortunately, Trinity College is an incredible resource. 

Prior to the beginning of my first year, all members of my incoming class were invited to an alumnus/alumna-hosted event, located at the home or club of the alum. There were multiple events hosted throughout that summer, in locations spanning the entire nation, so that as many students as possible could partake. These meet-and-greets were attended by many alumni, current-students, professors and other incoming first years. Notably, these events occur every year, for every Trinity-class. Apart from being an occasion to make new friends or to meet your professors, it also presents an amazing networking opportunity. 

Such was my experience when I attended a reception in the Hamptons, Long Island, at the home of a highly successful entrepreneur whose business had gross sales in excess of 500 million dollars. She was not simply a gracious hostess, but very generously provided me her contact information with an offer to apply for an internship with her Manhattan-based company during the summer of my junior year. 

Without question, the Bantam alumni are a tight-knit group who are dedicated to transitioning the next generation of graduates into the work place.

However, if offers from alumni are not enough, there is also an on-campus Career Development Center. There, you can find leads for internships, seek help creating a resume, schedule a mock job interview or simply seek advice from a career advisor.

Notably, Trinity also offers rare and unique student research opportunities. Since Trinity does not have a science-graduate program, all of its’ research is conducted by its’ undergraduate students. As early as your first year, you can begin to conduct professional research alongside your professors. Many of my friends who are majoring in Engineering and Biology have benefited from these programs. They spend their summers on Trinity’s campus, taking advantage of this exceptional opportunity that so few other institutions of higher learning offer.

As for me, I am currently teaching English to children ranging in ages from 8-12 years at a middle school here in Rome. I obtained this internship through Trinity’s Rome Program, which offers countless other opportunities depending on your level of Italian competency. For instance, if you speak little to no Italian, you can work with an Italian (but English-speaking) chef. Or, if you’re fluent in the native language, you can give tours in museums or conduct research in basilicas alongside church authorities. There are a variety of internships that fall along this spectrum, such as my position at the middle school. It certainly has been one of the most satisfying and transformative experiences of my life, and I do not doubt that it has given me skills and experiences that will help me secure a job in the future.

Although the prospect of searching for internships and jobs can be stressful, it is reassuring to know that Trinity’s wide-ranging alumni connections, offered-programs, and opportunities available in locations such as Hartford and even Rome, guarantees something for everyone. As I prepare to enter my senior year and graduation draws near, I am confident that Trinity will provide me with all of the necessary tools to successfully transition to the work place and that, if I utilize them, the future will be mine for the taking!

Fall Highlights at Trinity

I am thoroughly enjoying the start of my semester abroad at St. Andrews, but as October rolls in, I am starting to miss what New England does like no other: fall. While I love living just across from the North Sea here in Scotland, it is hard to compete with the vibrant foliage back at home. Last year Trinity was ranked in the top 10 most beautiful college campuses in the fall, and I’d like to share just a few of the fall highlights that contribute to Trinity’s autumnal atmosphere.

  • Hot cider at Peter B’s is a great way to warm up, and I recommend getting it with whipped cream! Pumpkin bread is an appropriate supplement here.
  • The in-between days where the leaves are falling but it’s warm enough to read on the quad and soak up some sunshine.
  • Football games are incredibly fun whether you care for the sport or not! They’re a great chance to don some Trinity gear, see all your friends in one place, and hear the Bantam call over the loudspeakers every time we score.
  • In a similar vein, Homecoming weekend offers the opportunity to chat with Trinity alumni of all class years, from your friends who just graduated to wise graduates who remember what the campus was like a few decades ago. I love connecting and reminiscing with members of the Trinity network!
  • Trinity days always manage to come at just the right time and offer a mix of both productivity and relaxation. Whether you head out for the weekend or stick around campus, you’re sure to enjoy the long weekend.

This list is just a few of my favorite aspects of fall at Trinity, and I can’t wait to enjoy them all again in the fall of 2017.

Let’s be social!

You follow some of your favorite brands on social media for updates, discounts, deals, event announcements….but what about colleges? Whether you are just starting to look, considering applying, have already applied, or have already been accepted (congratulations!), we think you’ll find following us on social media to be very helpful. Here’s what you’ll be able to do:

Explore Trinity – Instagram and Snapchat are a perfect way to see campus from virtually anywhere! We have students posting to our Snapchat account every day, giving you an up to date and inside look at daily life at Trinity. And for Instagram? You will never miss a beautiful sunset over the Chapel, snowy scene on The Long Walk (we hope not for awhile, though!), or the most important thing: acceptance packets going in the mail!

Get Advice – Our social accounts are always posting helpful tips, deadlines, explanations, etc. of everything having to do with admissions and Trinity.  Chances are if you have a question regarding the Common App, FAFSA, scholarships, demonstrated interest – we have probably posted something about it!

Get to know the students – You’ve probably been told the best way to get to know a college is to talk to current students.  But how do you go about that if you don’t know any? That’s where our Social Media Ambassadors come in!  Our SMAs are current students who help us post to our social media accounts.  By following our social accounts you will not only get a candid and totally real look at Trinity, you will also be given the the opportunity to reach out to current students with any questions you may have.

Show Demonstrated Interest – If you follow us – we notice! While this will not make or break your chances for acceptance, we do recognize that you are taking the extra effort to connect with Trinity. And that speaks highly of your interest in coming here.

Talk to us –  Have a question? Tweet at us! Enjoyed your visit? Check in on Facebook!  We are connected to our social media accounts 24/7 and would love to hear from you.

While these are a few of the benefits of using social media during your college decision process, there are still many more for you to discover.  Follow us and stay connected!

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