2 February 2024 Careers in the Nation’s Capital

Over winter break, students connected with alumni and professionals in Washington, D.C. 

Led by Chair of the Politics Department DeWayne Lucas and Associate Director of Career Services Briana Ritter ’15, students participated in a 3-day career trek in Washington, D.C. where they networked with alumni and explored careers in advocacy, politics and policy.  

The program included site tours at Deloitte, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Luminate, Ocean Conservancy, Special Olympics International and U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.

“The Day on the Hill program is a unique opportunity for students to see and interact with our alumni in their places of work and to thus get a sense of their passion and impact. It prepares students to visualize how their education and courses can translate into political, governmental and economic positions in the nation's capital. In addition, students start to build a network with our alumni that would help them to strive in D.C.,” Lucas says.

Washington, D.C.

President Mark D. Gearan joined the D.C. program to moderate a conversation between Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), who has served as chairman of the House Rules Committee since 2018, and former Congressman Tom Reynolds (R-26 and R-27), who served as Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Topics included election year predictions and the value of bipartisanship.

“The trip is an unparalleled opportunity. Hearing from alums about their paths during and after HWS was informative and inspiring. I left knowing more about what I want and how I can get there,” says Jesse Whelan-Small '24. Through the program last year, Whelan-Small secured an internship with Congressman Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ).

Each year, Day on the Hill includes a panel featuring young alumni, who are ready to discuss topics including entry-level positions and graduate school. This year’s panelists included: Jada Eisenbud ’23, legislative correspondent for Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ); Elise Donovan ’22, executive assistant at the Environmental Integrity Project; Joshua Salazar ’22, master’s candidate at Georgetown University; and Amelia Smith ’21, an energy and sustainability analyst at ICF.

Following a conversation with OB-C Group Principal Robert Marsh ’81, a “Life on the Hill” panel featured Emma Consoli ’22, legislative correspondent and operations manager to Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA); Rick Yackel ’16, scheduler for Rep. Marcus Molinaro (R-NY); and Colin Maczka ’20, legislative assistant/correspondent to Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY).

“Whether just starting out or with decades of experience, the alums we met with provided valuable insights about building careers in a range of fields, including politics, advocacy, consulting and public policy, and being a resource to us,” Andrew Frolich ’24 says.

Alumni and professionals at site tours included:  

Deloitte: Emily LaMarsh ’04, Senior Manager; Julia Oak LeRoy ’14, Senior Consultant; Jacob Schreiber ’11, Manager; Andrew Webb ’04, Manager; Will Wetzel ’11, Senior Consultant; Ben Vannah ’15, Consultant

Special Olympics International HQ: Meredith Ciaccia Pierce ’12, Vice President of Government Relations

Ocean Conservancy: Caroline Spruill ’12, Director of Internal Communications

USCRI: Eskinder Negash, President & CEO

FEMA: Joshua Stenger ’09, Financial Management Cadre Coordinator; Matt Lyttle ’06, Director, Guidehouse

Luminate: Felipe Estefan ’08, Vice President