Succeeding in the District
When people found out that I was moving from the small Missouri town I had lived my entire life to our nation’s capital, they warned me that I wouldn’t be able to succeed unless I sold my soul to the devil.
I am here to tell you that those people don’t know what they’re talking about and they are taking House of Cards way to seriously. While it is unfortunate we don’t all dress as well as Claire and Frank Underwood, you don’t need to be a functioning sociopath to get things done here in DC. Below are five tips that I’ve picked up while at American-
1.) Don’t say no to good opportunities.
Trying to decide if you should go out that night or wake up early the next day for a great volunteering experience? Reevaluate your priorities and set your alarm for the morning. The people you meet while volunteering for something you care about are going to help you out in life a lot more than some bro at a party who may or may not have vomit on his snapback.
2.) At the same time, don’t forget to have fun!
All work and no play makes Jack a boring dope. Find something new and exciting to do every now and then. We live in a great city full of culture, adventure, and fun- take advantage of that.
3.) Find a mentor.
A mentor in the field you want to get into can be worth their weight in gold. Do you have an amazing professor who blows you away every time they drop knowledge? Ask them about career advice in their office hours! See someone at your internship that you wish would take you under their wing? Ask them to go to coffee with you!
4.) Use every opportunity American University offers you possibly can.
You came to this university for a reason, figure out what that reason is. Want to get involved in social justice? Join one of the plethora of clubs who are trying to change the world from our campus. Have a question about internships? Go to the career center and ask. Take the initiative to get the most out of your time here.
5.) Find what your passion is and run with it!
For me, that is empowering women in politics. I’ve worked for a female senator, I’ve done a research project on the connection between girl’s education and women in elected positions, I’ve gone to round table discussions, and now I’m interning with a group trying to get the first woman elected as president. Do what you love and you’ll love what you do.