The most rewarding aspect of my experience at NYU DC has been the ability to complete a full time internship. It’s helped me build a professional network and to really get a sense of how my organization, The German Marshall Fund operates. I’ve gotten to write memos, host events, and interact with scholars and government officials. I’ve been able to make some great friends through my internship and I’ve gained a great deal from speaking to professionals in my field.
The biggest problem I faced was struggling to find time to complete my schoolwork and dealing with the stress of working over 40 hours a week and doing school full time. I worked from 9-5 each day and then Monday through Wednesday I had class from 6-9. In addition to that, I did a part time online job and another remote part time internship. It was great to be able to do all of these things but it did take a lot of time away from doing homework and from my free time. This semester I struggled to get food between work and class and if I truly wanted to work as hard as possible, I likely would never have slept. However, because this is my last semester and I have already been accepted to graduate school, I don’t feel the same kind of pressure to overwork myself that I usually do. However, taking the weekend to do trips to NYC or spending time watching TV when I could have been studying did often make me feel guilty.
This semester I was required to take a leadership course and I needed to take a course that filled a requirement for my major. I got to choose one course on campus and I ended up choosing this online course. However, the one course on campus that I elected for was recommended to me by a friend. One issue I had with my course list was that I felt like I didn’t learn anything from the leadership course. While in NYC, I participated in a year-long leadership program and it essentially covered all the topics included in this course. While I was interested in the other two courses I took at NYU DC, it often felt like I was dragging myself through this semester and I generally did not have the time or willpower to do all the readings for these courses.
This experience allowed to appreciate being home for Thanksgiving for 10 days much more than being home ever has before. Originally when I was looking at tickets to go home for Christmas, I was worried that another 10 days may be too much but now I’m looking forward to taking it easy for another chunk of days.
Years from now, I’ll remember this semester as hectic but rewarding. Living in the center of the city made my walk to work feasible and it allowed me to walk to most placed I wanted to go. The support that this program has given me allowed me to further my career and being in DC allowed me to connect more with Georgetown before I sent in my application.