The closer I am to starting my last year as an undergrad, I’ve been looking more into gap-year and masters programs. My LSA mentor has helped me tremendously with advice for job hunting, networking and transitioning into an actual adult. Since she just graduated last year and is currently working in DC, I see many similarities between us. I think LSA did really well in pairing us because we both volunteered with SAPAC, minored in CASC and are dedicated to pursuing social justice in our futures. Although we’re both fairly new to DC, she has helped me glimpse into what post-grad life in DC is really like. Although I also plan to work full-time after I graduate, I also see myself pursuing programs like Americorps or Princeton in Asia. She made me realize that although the internships I’ve had before and currently hold seem great and prestigious, they do not correlate with the jobs that I see myself pursuing in the future. I’m not pre-law even though my resume looks like I am. I think it’s changing my view of what internship I want in the fall when I’ll be here for Michigan in Washington.
Networking is honestly extremely important in DC. With the summertime being especially busy in DC, there are so many networking opportunities with established professionals and other college interns. There have been numerous memorable events but I would never forget about the APIA Congressional Reception because we were able to hear remarks from many Asian American congress people in a beautiful room in the Senate building. We were able to network/talk with other interns in DC as well as some representatives from hill offices. I never realized how great the UM alumni network was until a hill staff member said “Go Blue” after I introduced myself.
I’ve especially enjoyed attending seminar talks and roundtable luncheons put on by CAPAL (Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership). There is a different topic at each seminar talk and they features a panel of Asian American Pacific Islander who work in public service or in DC. Besides the free food, I love learning about how these professionals got to their current career and what advice they had for us. I’m constantly inspired after every session after learning about Asian American leaders in public service.