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The Washington Center

The Veteran Employment Trajectory (VET) Initiative

June - August 2019 • Washington, DC

What I liked

I first heard about the VET Initiative program at Student Veterans of America's National Convention. I researched the program and found it would provide opportunities beyond my first passion for military and veteran advocacy. Having interned and worked in this veteran service organization space for four years, I wanted to expand into immigration and human rights issues. With the guidance of Michael Duerr, he connected me with the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (WJPC) at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. for my internship. Not all internships are created equal and the WPJC far exceeded my expectations. As a WJPC research assistant, I had the great fortune to work under the direction of Professor Patrick Paterson. My research focused on categorizing global contemporary conflicts in accordance with the Geneva Conventions impacting the use of military and police tactics in Latin America. The internship afforded me mentorship and the freedom to utilize my military experience in Latin America. With Professor Paterson's guidance, my work will be published.

What I wish was different

The length of time at the internship. The overall experience far exceeded my expectations and I wished I could have stayed longer at the William J. Perry Center.

Advice

One of the biggest misconceptions many of us have when we meet other Veterans falls under imposter syndrome. My biggest advice would be to understand that you are unique and we all have strengths and weaknesses. Be willing to trust yourself and that you belong. This program can and will change your life if you are willing to do the hard work, both professionally and personally. If you invest in yourself by taking chances and asking questions, then this experience will be worthwhile. By challenging yourself in some small way, each day, with patience and kindness, you will wonder why you did not apply to this program sooner.
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Radio Astronomy Intern

May - August 2019 • Washington, DC

What I liked

I loved my team and mentor. My internship cohort was also very fun to work with.

What I wish was different

I wish I had more background and time to understand my project.

Advice

Travel to the city and enjoy the area.
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Marketing Research and events intern

June - August 2019 • Washington, DC

What I liked

Loved the networking opportunities, commuting to dc majority of my summer and getting a taste for my future career.

What I wish was different

Lived in the residential facility they provided to students.

Advice

If your school offers scholarships to participate in the program. Very beneficial and I loved my experience getting to know other young professionals
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