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Career Services and Students Travel to Washington D.C.

by Noah Jones on 04/02/2024


From March 10 to March 15, the Saint Louis University Career Services Department provided a Washington D.C. Career Trek for 10 students. The students in attendance met with many organizations, employers, and gained valuable networking opportunities.

On Monday, students visited the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, and received a presentation from Tracy O'Heir, Deputy Director, and SLU graduate. During the presentation, she discussed many of USAID’s goals, some of her crisis response experiences, and more. O'Heir also discussed the road that led her to USAID and nonprofits, mentioning that her first experience after graduating from SLU was with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

SLU students pose for a picture in the United States Senate.

Students gathered for a photo in the United States Senate. Photo submitted. 

On Tuesday, students received a presentation from Human Resource Generalist, Gayanthi Arambepola, discussing the Brookings Institution's five areas of research which are governance studies, metropolitan, foreign policy, global economy and development, and economic studies. They then received a panel presentation and learned about the various members' career journeys, AI in the workplace, how to stand out as an applicant, how to foster creativity in the workplace, and how the members ensure that their research is relevant.

Keon Gilbert, DrPH, associate professor for SLU’s College of Public Health and Social Justice, was also a panelist and he discussed his research related to black boys and men’s health and wellbeing, police reform, and more.‌

Wednesday was a busy day and started at Capital One where students received a group presentation from members of the team, learned about extensive internship opportunities, and discussed the transition from college to professional life. They also discussed what it’s like to move to another city for new opportunities.

One of Capital One’s presenting team members, Lizzie Twardock, Senior Horizontal Delivery Associate, is an SLU graduate who was also a Career Services' Career Ambassador. Students then visited the Smithsonian Institution and received two-panel presentations. During the first, the Smithsonian staff discussed potential opportunities including internship and fellowship programs. The second presentation was from the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture staff. Afterward, students were able to explore the museum.

Thursday was also extremely busy, starting at Dream.Org. SLU Graduate Kyle Kammien, Policy Director, gave students valuable insight into working at for-profit and nonprofit spaces. Both Kammien and Rachael Payton, Director of Communications, also talked about the importance of passion and purpose in a career, and how they are fueled by Dream.Org’s environmental, technological, and justice initiatives.

That afternoon, students visited with US Senate Staff, and they discussed their day-to-day responsibilities, the purpose they find through working so directly with policies and legislation that they believe in, the effects of media and public perception on campaigns, and the need for accuracy and flexibility in this field of work. Later that evening, students attended an alumni dinner where they could make meaningful connections with previous SLU students in the area.

Students also had time to explore D.C., experience navigating the area, visit the office of Cori Bush, visit popular tourist sites, see historical monuments, and more.

Future career trek opportunities will be available to students. This fall, Career Services will be hosting an Indianapolis, IN career trek.