CU in DC PhotoDC Scholarship Blog

I am incredibly grateful for my time at The Washington Center this past fall. While at TWC, there were so many amazing opportunities to network with TWC alumni and hear about their unique experiences in D.C. Not only did I expand my network, but I also gained much insight into career paths I wasn’t even aware of. Many of the networking events counted towards my Career Readiness Course, which helped me significantly in learning more about myself in terms of how prepared I really am to enter a professional position. While I was required to conduct only three informational interviews, I ended up talking to eight amazing individuals about their careers. Along with the Career Readiness Course, I also took a Forensic Psychology course. I really enjoyed learning about forensic psychology and all the ways psychology has influenced our justice system. For my final paper, I wrote about the intersection of forensic psychology and neuroscience (my major at CU) and loved connecting what I learned at CU with my course at TWC. During the semester we held a mock trial, and it was the first one I had ever participated in. I thoroughly enjoyed the mock trial and learning about the general workings of the justice system. I was assigned the role of expert witness on a case of a sleepwalker which was amazing because my interest in sleepwalking is what got me into neuroscience in the first place!

I am also incredibly grateful for my internship at the Peace Corps. I’m interested in applying to volunteer one day, so working in headquarters was very eye-opening to all the amazing work that goes into ensuring the safety and security of all the volunteers. I also had the opportunity to work on some amazing projects that taught me so much about the importance of wellbeing and mental health. Among these projects was “On Being Trauma Informed”. I was tasked with reviewing over 40 interviews from various Peace Corps psychologists, medical, and regional officers. My job was to search for adequate responses to a question relating to interpersonal support so that a new training module could be created. It was so fascinating to hear everyone’s responses! I’d say the most valuable thing I took away is that you never know what is going on in someone’s life and to have a trauma informed response is to be empathetic. My favorite project I worked on over the semester was my role as a research assistant in New Country Evaluations. For the Peace Corps to send volunteers into a country, there must be extensive research beforehand. I loved conducting this research as it helped build on my research skills and pushed me to see the full picture of a country by connecting all the information I had gathered. I am lucky to say that even though my program at TWC has ended, I will still be interning with the Peace Corps for the full year and cannot wait to see what other amazing projects I can lend a hand on.

Finally, I want to talk about the amazing museums and monuments in D.C. I loved being able to run by the Washington Monument and Lincoln Monument as if it was another casual building. The architecture of the city was incredible, and I absolutely loved taking the metro everywhere. After 3 months in D.C., I am sad to leave and am looking forward to the day I come back to such an amazing city.