Vanderbilt Internship Experience in Washington

What is VIEW?

I think VIEW was one of two pivotal opportunities in my Vanderbilt experience. It was an opportunity which provided me great mentors and connections that have guided me since then to other internships, recommendations for graduate school, career advice, and general goodwill.   -Corey Ponder, VIEW ‘06

The Vanderbilt Internship Experience in Washington (VIEW) provides students with an opportunity to meaningfully explore and engage in community and public service in an effort to grow as active citizens. This experience will introduce students to Washington D.C. institutions and personalities and encourage exploration on how these entities create change in a dynamic and complex environment.

Many students and potential employers regard a summer experience in Washington as a highly valued learning and work experience. The VIEW program provides students with a comprehensive and meaningful 8-week experience in D.C.  Students will participate in a living-learning community, internships with leading non-profit agencies and congressional offices, networking and mentoring opportunities with Vanderbilt alumni, and a variety of social and academic activities in the D.C. area.

VIEW 2015 will be held from June 6 through August 1, 2015.  The program fee, which covers housing, programming, transportation in DC, etc. is $4,850.

Living-learning community

All students will participate in a living-learning community during their time in D.C.  The community consists of 24 undergraduate Vanderbilt students in a cohort model for peer support.  They will participate as a group in weekly reflections to further understand their D.C. experience and learn from the experiences of others.

Students will also participate in 2-3 weekend service opportunities while in D.C. to learn about and impact the need that exists in our nation’s capital.  Vanderbilt alumni will also be invited to participate in these service projects.

Finally, as a group, students will also have the opportunity to hear from leaders in the fields of media, government, business and nonprofit sectors, participate in private tours (such as the Pentagon and CNN), and attend social events (such as a Nationals baseball game and kayaking on the Potomac).

Academic Preparation

The VIEW cohort will meet every other week in the spring semester as they participate in a 1 hour credit seminar to fully prepare them for their internship. Class sessions will feature guest speakers and experts on topics including the United States government, world politics including the current political climate both domestically and globally.  Through this seminar, students will gain insight into the political and non-profit landscape of Washington, D.C.  In addition, the cohort will delve into professional preparation, including resume and cover letter development, interview skills, and practicing successful networking.

Mentor Component

Each VIEW participant is matched with a Vanderbilt alumnus living in DC, who aligns with the student’s personal and professional goals and interests. The pair will meet often during the VIEW program, with one-on-one interaction and support, attending various outings and events together.  This is a premiere networking opportunity, offering exposure to a vast network of VU alumni living in DC and working in the fields students are want to enter post-graduation. Through mentorship, students are able to make connections, learn about different career paths, and continue the valuable mentor/mentee relationship beyond the program.

Working with non-profit and government agencies

VIEW was the ideal way to both engage and shadow a profession in which I had serious interest. The experience gave me a fantastic advantage into deciding what part of media production I wanted to pursue. It allowed me a window into a very competitive field while simultaneously giving me the support system in which to thrive. - Adelaide Schwartz, VIEW ’07

VIEW facilitates placement of students in competitive internships in government, media, public policy, social justice, education, science, environmental policy, the arts, and various other nonprofits. Many VIEW alums have secured future internships and jobs as a result of their VIEW internship.

Throughout its 10-year history, VIEW has successfully placed participants in full-time summer internship spots with a wide array of focus areas. Past internships have included:

Arts NASA – Historical Department
Arts Newseum
Arts Smithsonian Institute
Arts Phillip’s Collection
Arts Society for the Arts in Health Care
Arts United States Capitol Historical Society
Edu American Association of University Women – AAUW
Edu Association of American Universities
Edu Data Quality Campaign
Edu Institute for International Education
Edu St. Albans School of Public Service
Edu Urban Education Leaders Internship Program
Edu Vanderbilt Office of Federal Relations
Govt Embassy of Afghanistan
Govt Embassy of Pakistan
Govt Cassidy & Associates – Lobbying Firm
Govt Council for Excellence in Government
Govt Center for National Policy
Govt Council on Hemispheric Affairs
Govt Democratic National Committee (DNC)
Govt Embassy of Greece
Govt Embassy of Kuwait
Govt Embassy of Morocco
Govt Livingston Group – International Office
Govt No Labels
Govt National Republican Congressional Committee
Govt National Science Foundation
Govt Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Govt Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN)
Govt Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Govt Representative Kinzinger – R, IL
Govt Representative Nancy Boyda (D-KS)
Govt Representative Phil Hare (D-IL)
Govt Representative Ric Keller (R-FL)
Govt Representative Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Govt Representative Silvestre Reyes (D-TX)
Govt Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN)
Govt Republican National Committee (RNC)
Govt Senator Bill Frist (R-TN)
Govt Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)
Govt Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Law NAACP – Legal Defense Fund
Law RFK Center for Human Rights
Law Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Law Stein, Mitchelle, & Muse, LLP
Media CNN
Media Education Week
Media NPR – WAMU 88.5FM
Media Washington Times
Social EarthRights International
Social American Red Cross
Social Children’s Defense Fund
Social Make A Wish Foundation
Social Conservation International
Social Family Health International
Social LIFT
Social National Coalition for the Homeless
Social No Limits Foundation
Social Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
Social Pew Center on Global Climate Change
Social Philanthropy Round Table
Social The Global Fund for Children
Social World Service Authority



For questions regarding the Vanderbilt Internship Experience in Washington, please contact: or