Exploring Different Career Paths in D.C.

While on the 2019 D.C. Career Trek, many students were exposed to different paths that they could follow after graduation. Some students believed that they only had a few options because of their degree, but the Trek opened their eyes to many different opportunities.

Pragyan Dey wants to be involved in international relations after graduation and believed that the only way to do with would be through a government sector job.

“My preconceptions were changed upon meeting several alumni who were enjoying success and involvement in international relations without being part of government organizations. Mrs. Jessica W. is frequently in the middle of talks between nations, all the while working on behalf of a private law firm. She gave me valuable insight on how to leverage contacts, identify possible international situations, and the role of postgraduate education.”

International Studies major Morgan Evans was surprised how much she learned about herself on this trip.

“I started to realize that my major doesn’t lead me to a direct career outlet. The fellow students and professionals I met reassured me that I was doing everything right, even the panicking. I realized it’s not about if your major will lock you in a job, but the tools your major gives you. I was able to meet tons of other International Studies students who had the same worries of “what do I really want to do after I graduate?”, so it was nice we all got to discuss the answers and reassurances we got along the way.”

Some students also found that this trip really solidified what they want to do after graduation. Michael Ellis said that this trip helped him decide that he definitely has the goal of getting a job in analytics or public policy in D.C. after graduating this May.

“It did this by introducing me to alumni and others who informed me about different institutions and people involved in the policy process. Asking them questions gave me insight into how different industries in the policy world work. They were able to make recommendations about agencies and people who I should reach out to about the intersection of environmental issues and economics.”

George Gogos had a similar experience in D.C. “The trip clarified my chosen study and affirmed that I would enjoy being in a technical career field.” He added that being in Bloomington can make it hard to keep sight on his future after college, and the Trek helped remind him of the bigger picture.

Freshman Abbey Krulik is learning about all of her career options as early as she can.

“I always thought that in order to make a difference in the field of human rights, I would have to spend my career overseas. Although this is still incredibly valuable, I realized that there are things that I can to in Washington that would also make a huge difference. You can make a difference in the world through a range of diverse paths, and DC offers excellent means by which many do so.”

If you’re a student who is still struggling to decide what to do after graduation, a career coach is the perfect person to talk to!

A career coach can help you establish realistic goals, discover solutions to unique challenges you may be up against, develop action plans, and build up your self-confidence.

The one-on-one experience of partnering with a career coach is a great way to:

  • Determine what steps to take next and what strategies to use
  • Receive personalized advice, support, and guidance when making career decisions
  • Come up with a plan that will keep you on track to accomplish your goals

The Walter Center offers Drop-in Career Coaching as well as coaching through scheduled appointments. Click here to meet our career coaches and schedule and appointment!



By Courtney Stapleton
Courtney Stapleton Courtney Stapleton