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February 10, 2012
Vol. 53 No. 14

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Internship offers beneficial opportunities

During fall 2011 I lived in a penthouse apartment in Arlington, Virginia., worked a full-time internship, and took two classes. I received eight credits for the internship and gained a real-life city experience. Living in Washington, D.C. was an adventure of its own, and I have a feeling my experience might interest some of the people dying to get off this small town campus.
For many years, Susquehanna has been involved with the Lutheran College Washington Semester (LCWS). A group of eight to 12 Lutheran schools across the country participate in the program.
Students spend a semester living in Washington, D.C. as an intern for a company that will add to your experience within the fields of communications, business, politics or law.
Lutheran College will give its participants a list of companies offering internships. Many of these companies have worked with LCWS before and have a long-standing relationship with the program and the students.
Members of the program are left to select and apply to the businesses that apply to their interest and area of study. It is the students' responsibility to set up an internship.
The apartments that students live in are located off the Rosslyn stop on the D.C. Metro in a complex called River Place. All apartments are located on the 10th floor of the buildings with apartments that fit three to four people. About 30 students participated in the program, and we were considered one of the smaller groups to participate.
Once students have set up their internship and have arrived in D.C., they start working their internship four days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesdays are reserved for field trips with the program. Some of the places we went on our field trips included the Holocaust Museum, the White House, the Capital Building and a play at the Kennedy Center.
The field trips change in every program and it helps the students meet and network with people they wouldn't ordinarily meet. The field trips are a key component of the program and add an extra layer of experience in the nation's capital.
While participating in LCWS, students must take two classes and complete a list of Dean Requirements. The classes change each semester and are designed to help broaden and teach one more about the city and its history. The requirements consist of 12 hours of community service, participation in a protest or demonstration, and a brief of a Senate hearing.
The experience and the people I met during my semester have become valuable in looking for a job and really helped my resume. The LCWS program was something more than just an internship. It introduced me to a taste of the real world and to working a solid job every week. I was forced to take on responsibilities like grocery shopping and timing transportation properly.
If you've always lived in a small town but have dreamed of living in a city, the program offers you insight into a city lifestyle without the commitment of a lease or renting an apartment.
The options are endless and the LCWS program is only one of many that they offer. It was an invaluable experience that helped me grow up before graduating in May.

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