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, D.C. (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 introduces students to Washington, D.C. institutions, employers, leaders, and Vanderbilt alumni and encourages students to explore public service, civic engagement, and employment in the dynamic setting of our nation’s capital.
Many students and potential employers regard a summer experience in Washington, D.C. 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 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.
This program is facilitated by OACS in partnership with the Center for Student Professional Development.
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).
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.
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.
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. Partner examples include CNN, the office of Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the National Coalition for the Homeless, NASA, and the Association of American Universities. See below for a full listing.
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