Rhodes’ International Studies Majors Take Washington, D.C., Connection Trip

a diverse group of students in business attire standing outside of an academic building
(l-r) Soraya Miri, Austin Siegfried, Roz KennyBirch, Anna Maldonado, Jazzy Hawkins, Caleb Fowler, Abby Watkins, Ellie Valega, Simon Boles, Anna Wahlgren, and Jordan Giles; Not pictured is Samuel Polzin​.

With final exams over and spring courses done, 12 Rhodes international studies majors recently took a career immersion trip May 22-29. The rising juniors and seniors journeyed to Washington, D.C., to learn about career opportunities in the city, interact with industry leaders, meet think-tank scholars, and identify internship opportunities. Robert Buckman and Joyce Mollerup sponsored the trip. 

Places visited include the State Department, Woodrow Wilson Center, Office of the Vice President, Pew Research Center, Atlantic Council, and Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment. The group was accompanied by Dr. Jennifer Sciubba, assistant professor of international studies; Dr. Barron Boyd, director of Rhodes’ Buckman Center for International Education; and Sandi George Tracy, director of career services.

Students who went on the trip are Simon Boles, Samuel Polzin, Abby Watkins, Jordan Giles, Jazzelynn Hawkins, Roz KennyBirch, Ellie Valega, Soraya Miri, Anna Maldonado, Caleb Fowler, and Austin Siegfried. 

Here is what some of them had to say: 

“When one thinks of D.C., one usually pictures senators, representatives, and lawyers. But during the trip, we were able to see the variety of opportunities D.C. has to offer for students of all interests, whether that is working at a think tank, at the Red Cross, or in a museum.” –Roz KennyBirch ’17
“I feel like this experience was extremely beneficial. It has allowed me to no longer be afraid of graduation and the unknown that sometimes comes with it. I have gained insight and knowledge that has made post graduate plans less fearful.”—Jazzelynn Hawkins ’17

“It truly was an amazing experience. I learned so much about the city and how to build a future there.”—Anna Maldonado ’18

 “This Washington, D.C., connection trip has helped me to deconstruct some of the fears I had about D.C. being an incredibly complicated city that I would never understand. But in reality, it’s a lively, energetic, passionate city that welcomes residents and visitors alike. By understanding this, it has opened my mind to envisioning a real future there.”—Jordan Giles ’18 

“The Rhodes Washington Connection Program has given me the opportunity to gain personal insight and wisdom from a plethora of professionals in Washington, D.C. Not only have I learned extensively about the various career opportunities available in D.C., but I have also been fortunate to hear about the many different paths through life these people have traveled thus far.  Meeting these people and hearing their stories has given me both the advice and bolstered confidence to keep wading into this unfamiliar sea of career opportunities.  I excitedly await the chance to swim.”—Caleb Fowler ’18

The students also got a “fashion savvy” mention on the FamousDC website about their professional attire while on the trip. View the article here.

Students participating in a U.S. State Department diplomatic simulation involving a nuclear crisis


In front of the Woodrow Wilson Center 


In front of The White House


In the Vice President's Ceremonial Office Meeting with Dr. Colin Kahl, Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States and National Security Advisor for the Vice President of the United States