Archive for April, 2009

Reflections on Graduation

Friday, April 24th, 2009

By Aaron Wodin-Schwartz

My fellow graduates: “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, today is your answer.” Well, maybe not quite. But still, our graduation marks an important moment, as we turn the page on a formative chapter of our lives. Though for the most part we have commenced our professional aspirations and our careers, after today many of us will take full flight, never to return to the academic nest. So before you leave, make sure to take a final stroll around the grounds to take it all in and remember this place with a fondness.

Let us reflect on these past years. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Editorial Note: Commencement

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Over the next few weeks preceding May’s commencement festivities, The E Street Beat will feature the voices of several graduating students as they reflect back on their time within the Elliott School and look forward to the future.   Elliott School students pursue a wide variety of activities both within and outside the walls of 1957 E St., and as their time on campus winds to a close, many of our students have interesting stories to tell that evoke fond memories and illuminate the opportunities available to other current and future students.

If you are a current student preparing for graduation and would like to share your Elliott School story, we invite you to submit your thoughts (in essay format) to advising@gwu.edu for publication consideration.

Dispatch From The Field: Across The Street At The State Department

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

By Jenny Schuch

This year I was lucky enough to secure what I considered a dream internship at the U.S. State Department.  After almost four years of studying international affairs it seemed like the best way to culminate my experience in D.C. and apply what I have learned in the classroom about U.S. foreign policy.

The internship application was due about eight months before I planned to start the internship and involved an extensive process including a security background check – probably how they deter most prospective interns.  My year studying abroad in Japan and academic focus on Asian Studies earned me a position as the intern for the South Korea Desk in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

The State Department always seemed like a “cool” place to be with its high profile officials and diplomatic activity, and once I started I realized that it really was that and even more.  Not only have I been immersed in U.S. foreign policy towards a volatile region (my office includes North Korea), I have been able to actually contribute to foreign policy and meet people working at the highest levels.  While I may not choose to take the Foreign Service Officer Test immediately, this experience has been incredibly valuable as I plan my professional future and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in foreign policy.

Jenny is a senior in the Elliott School, majoring in International Affairs and double concentrating in Asia and Conflict & Security.  She is currently interning at the U.S. State Department and plans to conduct a fellowship with Volunteers in Asia while working for an NGO in Indonesia after graduation.