Program Alumni Share their Experiences


“The Semester in Washington, D.C. program not only prepared me for graduate school level research and study, but also taught me how to become a more well-rounded intellectual person. Professor Potolicchio's classes helped me understand what graduate school instructors want in terms of papers and research. He pushed us to think outside the box and taught us to be good researchers and critical thinkers. When you live in DC, you meet a plethora of different people from different professional fields. SWP not only exposed me to these people, but taught me how to make a lasting impression when talking to them. My professors encouraged me to ask questions that were thought-provoking and meaningful.”

James Do
Rutgers University
SWP Alumnus, Fall 2011
James is currently serving in the Peace Corps as a Youth Development Volunteer in Morocco.

“My internship in Senator Ron Johnson’s office was also my first experience in a professional office, so I learned quite a lot over my semester internship. My coworkers taught me the skills needed to work successfully in a Senate office, but they also taught me many different things that I would need to know for when I entered the professional world full-time, from how to dress in a business setting to how to network efficiently. One of the best things about SWP is being surrounded by people who were interested in the same things that you are. As a student interested in the American political system, what can be better than living in D.C. surrounded by other college students who love politics, being taught by teachers who specialize in American politics and can introduce you to the stars of the political system as you intern in a D.C. organization?

“My advice to students looking into the program would be to run headfirst into every opportunity that you are given. You only have one semester of SWP, so you should make every moment count.”

Jennifer O’Neil
Boston College
SWP alumna, Spring 2011
After Jennifer graduated from Boston College, she was hired as a Staff Assistant in Senator Johnson’s office and later promoted to the Senator’s Scheduler & Executive Assistant.

“After researching several opportunities, I picked Georgetown based on its curriculum. It appeared to be a program that worked with your internship rather than on top of it. This assumption was absolutely correct. Beyond the class times working well with internship schedules, the teachers made a huge difference and went above and beyond to make themselves available. The Semester in Washington, D.C. program, and the unique faculty they choose to staff it, create the ideal atmosphere for a visiting student to make the most of a short time in D.C.

“SWP enables you, as a student, to reach out to any office, industry or bureau and gain any experience you wish. Best of all, the students who choose to participate all have a similar drive and ambition, which is the largest contributor to the unbeatable dynamic of the program. I am where I want to be today largely due to the assistance received from the teachers and staff of SWP. I would highly recommend the program to anyone interested in gaining experience in D.C. and to anyone unsure of what they want to do who is looking for exposure.”

Max Horowitz
University of Colorado—Boulder
SWP alumnus, Summer 2012
Max is now a Program Coordinator with the Business Council for International Understanding..

“Working in the center of U.S. politics with access to the nation’s capital, William Joraskie does not think he could have asked for a better opportunity than to take part in Georgetown’s Semester in Washington, D.C. Program. “I gained a better understanding and learned how to look behind the scenes and read between the lines to what is really happening in our nation’s politics.”

“His internship at the Republican National Committee gave him a new perspective on the delicate balance between current events and issues and gave him the opportunity to learn firsthand how political parties simultaneously prepare for the next election while evaluating the previous election. “To be able to eat, sleep and live politics 24 hours a day, 7 days a week was a constant rush, a tremendous opportunity and the experience of a lifetime.”

William Joraskie
Carnegie Mellon University
SWP alumnus, Spring 2011
William is currently working towards earning a Master of Science in Public Policy Management at Carnegie Mellon University.

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