When political science professor Jason Pierce drafted an itinerary for 24 students to spend three days in our nation’s capital on a career immersion experience, he quickly realized he had a problem: so many alumni, so little time.
“I was absolutely amazed by the generosity of our alumni. They quickly volunteered to share their time and wisdom, and were very eager to help our students take whatever that next step might be, from job shadowing to internships to entry-level careers,” Pierce explained.
The Washington, DC, trip—a first of its kind for UD and a joint effort between the political science department, College of Arts and Sciences, and honors program—wasn’t just a civics lesson. Students met with two dozen alumni to learn what it’s like to have a career, and a personal life, in one of the most competitive (and expensive) cities in the U.S.—and, how to get it.
“This was an experiment. We wanted to see what would happen when you put accomplished alumni in the same room as earnest and eager students,” Pierce said.
The result? Résumés exchanged, business cards swapped, phone conversations scheduled—and even a tweet from the third most powerful politician in the country. Speaker John Boehner, who held an hour-long question-and-answer session with students on the eve of the sequestration, sent this message to his 457,000-plus Twitter followers: “Enjoyed taking questions from @univofdayton students today – cap hill press corps, watch out…”
Freshman Morgan Draves says her biggest takeaway is the power of the Flyer nation.
“I learned so much, but I think the most important lesson is that the UD community extends far past the streets of campus. Regardless of where you end up after graduation, UD alumni are more than willing to help you find your way. The bond of Flyers from all different cities, majors and class years is impressively strong.
Click the image above to view more trip photos.