12 February 2021 Careers in the Capitol: Virtual Day on the Hill

During winter break, more than a dozen Hobart and William Smith students participated in the HWS Day on the Hill program.

The 15th annual career trek to Washington, D.C., was held virtually this year offering a three-day, all-encompassing look for students who are interested in breaking into political careers. Nineteen alums participated in panel discussions.

The first day kicked off with a panel titled “Working on the Hill” which featured legislative aides from Capitol Hill that was followed by a panel of professionals from non-profit organizations. The second day featured panels with alum representatives from environmental and sustainability industries as well as international relations and development professionals. The final day featured conversations on government relations and concluded with a panel of young alums who work in Washington, D.C.

“Hearing from HWS alums who are working in diverse and interesting fields in D.C. was really insightful,” said Alexandra DeVito ’21, a political science and English double major with a minor in public policy. “Making networking connections is crucial in Washington, so the Day on the Hill program provides a special opportunity for us to create networking connections and learn about the roles HWS alums are in.”

DeVito, who wants to become a lawyer and work in D.C. after attending law school, talked about the benefits of the HWS network. “As a William Smith student, a major takeaway for me was learning about the ways alums stick together long after graduation. We heard from recent graduates and men and women who are well established in their careers. The success they have achieved and how the HWS community sustained them far from Geneva was really impactful.”

Hosted by the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education, the annual program offers students a chance to discover what it takes to get a job in the nation’s capitol and the day-to-day routine of D.C. life, says Director of the Salisbury Center Brandi Ferrara. “Students meet with alums giving them opportunities to network and learn about internship opportunities,” she says.

“The Day on the Hill experience allowed me to gain insight into life after HWS and how alums can find their presence on Capitol Hill,” says Hrithik Biswas ’23, an economics major. “It was great to hear how their HWS education has given them a lift in their careers and how they have utilized their voice to advocate for themselves.”

The Salisbury Center hosts a range of career and networking events each winter break, including the Finance Experience in New York and the Behind the Scenes trip, offering insights into careers in banking, finance, government, journalism, public policy and entertainment and the non-profit sector.

Day on the Hill participants included:

Working on the Hill: Sam Menchel ’16, Jeremy Horan ’07, Hannah Cooper ’16, Libby Foley ’10

Non—Profit/NGO: Jalisa Whitley ’11, Jessica Borbee ’17, August Savarese ’17

Environmental/Sustainability: Chad Tockowicz ’18, Annabel Cryan ’16, Jennifer Park ’10

International Relations/Development: Ana Carolina Hoff ’15, Jessica Teicher ’04

Government Relations: Kelly Biggs ’11, Meredith Pierce ’12, Rachel Henderson ’06, Jeff Werner ’91

Young Alum Panel: Olivia Hughes ’19, Maeve Kline ’19, Katherine Consoli ’20