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W&M DC Summer Institutes Mentorship Program

Our W&M DC Summer Institutes students benefit immensely from DC area W&M alumni through internship leads, site visit contacts and more. In order to strengthen these valuable ties, we have established a more formal program to connect these students with alumni in order to foster a closer network of professional development.

To Become a Mentor

Please fill out a brief survey.  If you have any questions, please contact [[sladler01, Sarah Adler]], Program Manager, at 202-939-4002.

W&M DC Summer Institutes Background

Our bright and focused students have been selected to participate in W&M DC Summer Institutes via a competitive application process. Each student spends two weeks taking classes in the W&M Washington Office to become a relative expert in their field of study, which is then followed by 10 weeks as a full-time intern with an organization that matches his or her interest and his or her institute's theme.

W&M DC Summer Institutes Mentorship Program

Student and Mentor at DinnerThe W&M DC Summer Institutes Mentorship Program will match up W&M DCSI students with DC-area alumni who are willing to occasionally take time during the summer to talk to mentees about their experiences in DC, their future careers, and the options that they face during this stage of their professional development. The mentor's committment is fairly minimal: meet with your mentee at least 3 times throughout the course of the summer (one of these meetings is the Mentorship Dinner where we honor our mentors), and discuss career advice, areas of interest, and goals for the student's future. 

What Does a Mentor Do?

A mentor is a person who provides any of the following support to a mentee:

  • Advice on career options and fields of interest
  • Guidance and support as the student develops his or her own professional network
  • Consultation on résumés, cover letters, or certain ways to approach a potential employer
  • Preparation for interviews and professional challenges
  • Introduction to a variety of resources to assist the mentee in preparing for a specific career and transitioning from W&M to the "real world"

(Please note: It is not the mentor's role to help the student find a job in his or her organization or personal network. The mentor is assisting in building a skill set necessary to pursue career opportunities.)

When Might I Have the Opportunity to Mentor?

Student and Mentor at DinnerThe recurring DC Summer Institutes topics are:

National Security - explores the formation of and challenges facing U.S. national security policy.  Students often work with various government offices, such as the Department of Justice or the Department of Homeland Security, or even in Think Tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute or the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Leadership & Community Engagement - explores leadership in the DC area non-profit sector.    Students often work in various DC non-profits and governement agencies, including the Boys and Girls Club government relations office, National Conference on Citizenship, Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the Jane Goodall Institute.

New Media - explores new media including film, video, photography; television, radio, and print media; and art and culture. Students will often work at various media outlets, including DC Shorts, Public Citizen, and Diplomatic Courier.