Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Break - Things To Do Around DC

Staying around DC for Thanksgiving break? Here are some cool ideas for things to do on campus and the around the city!

On Campus

On Thanksgiving day, the AU Residence Hall Association will be hosting Thanksgiving Feasts in the Northside and Southside of campus. Please email Lindsey Malcom ( for more information or ask an RA for details.

Here’s the link for the dining hours during the Thanksgiving break:

Around DC

Go Ice-Skating: Visit the National Gallery of Art and then head over to the museum’s Sculpture Garden Ice Rink. Information on times and prices are available through their website:

Take a Hike:
Venture out to one of the best kept secrets in the DC area to enjoy this beautiful fall weather. Teddy Roosevelt Island is easily accessible from the Rosslyn Metro station. More information on the island via:

Tour Mount Vernon by Candlelight:
This special event occurs only a couple of times a year. Take advantage of the opportunity to tour George Washington’s estate by candlelight with live music and entertainment. More information on tickets and times available at:

Visit National Harbor: National Harbor is located in Maryland but can be accessed through a water taxi that leaves from the Georgetown Waterfront. Take an afternoon off and cruise over there to visit shops and restaurant and possibly catch the lighting ceremony of the Christmas tree on Nov. 23 from 7-11pm. More details at

Brave Black Friday: Join thousands of other Black Friday shoppers and head to some of the DC area’s most famous shopping districts – Georgetown, Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights, and Pentagon City Mall.

Do the Trot
: Join the 11th Annual Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger! This 5k walk/run helps support the hungry and homeless in the DC area. Last day to register is Wednesday, Nov. 21 by 6pm. Even if you miss the registration, stop by downtown to cheer on the participants. More info at:

Wet Your Appetite for Knowledge: One of the best perks of this amazing city is all of the culture and knowledge available through the numerous museums around the city! Discover a new one over this break! Here's a list of the options available:,_D.C.  

Dine Out: Not in the mood to cook a turkey but still want some Thanksgiving goodness? Consider going to one of these DC restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner.

Extend a Hand: If you are looking to find ways to volunteer and give back to the DC community, consider contacting one of these organizations to see if they have any projects going on this weekend:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Global Scholar Students Representing AU on C-SPAN Campaign Bus

On the Monday before the election, three Global Scholars students had the unique opportunity to join the team representing American University on the C-SPAN Campaign Bus to ask questions about the election! They were featured live on the Washington Journal show that morning. Below is a short description of the experience by each of the participating students.

Isabelle Rodas
Ten students were chosen to represent American University on C-SPAN, and three of these students were Global Scholars. We were all so proud! But it wasn't until I saw the C-SPAN bus that I began to get nervous. As we sat on the bus waiting, you could hear all ten of us whispering and practicing our questions under our breath. It's silly all the ways you imagine yourself messing up one simple question. It also didn't help that right before the segment began, we were told that we were "going to go live to thousands of Americans” by the producers. When my name was called, I remember taking a deep breath and sitting in front of the camera. And then it happened - I was on live to thousands of Americans! All fear was gone, and I began to speak. And miraculously it came out perfectly. What I remember most though, was what I was told when I had just finished speaking: "Excellent job. That was very powerful!" And I thought, this is why I go to the most politically active school in the nation, and this is why I am a Global Scholar.

Anna Sutton

I have never been more worried about getting a sudden case of hiccups in my life, as I was during my question on C-SPAN. It was so nerve-racking, but at the same time exciting, to be on that bus. We were given a chance to ask about anything we wanted concerning President Obama's leadership. I have been spending a lot of time volunteering for the Obama campaign lately, and the question I asked was if the speaker on the show thought President Obama's early experience as a community organizer in Chicago would changed the way campaigns will be lead in the future. I am so glad to be in Global Scholars Program because I never would have been a part of this great opportunity if Professor Knight had not sent out an email about it!

Tristan Slusser

Needless to say the C-SPAN event was a really great experience and a wonderful opportunity to represent the Global Scholars Program. I suppose the most difficult part was coming up with a good question. I drafted two prior to that morning but ended up discarding them, at the last minute, seeing how they had already been addressed by the speaker. I came up with two more questions on the spot before finally settling on the one I asked. The second thing that was a little nerve racking is that I have always been afraid to speak in front of people. So the fact that this was going on TV, to be seen by lots of people, did not help too much. Somehow however, I succeeded in maintaining my calm and getting the words out. On the technical side of things it was interesting to see how the guys operated the camera and ran the show; coordinating with their bosses back in the studio. It all appeared rather simple and they were able to quickly switch from one student to the next in the line of questions. Overall, my favorite part was all the positive feedback I got from all my friends from back home who, somehow, saw the clip. Everyone was really excited to see that I got to be on TV.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Internships 101 - by David Fletcher

Welcome to Washington, DC- the Internship Capital of the World! In fact American University is #1 in the nation for students securing internships based on percentage of students… But then you probably already knew that. Or that DC is home to thousands of internship employers. These statistics are likely to be two of the leading factors why you chose to attend American University and to study in the School of International Service.

So if all of this is really true, why does it seem so difficult to start looking for internships and applying to the employers who offer them? The process is simple and really only takes a few steps to get started but you need to know what to do, where to look, and how to be most effective and efficient with your strategy.

I have been asked to offer three tips to assist you with your search but I should warn you, although this process is foolproof and I guarantee students will have great success in landing an internship every semester they seek one, it does requires several things:

1. Real Effort- You have to apply and apply and then apply some more. You should be prepared to apply to 10-15 internships to be assured of landing a position each semester. Sometimes students give up after 2-3 tries claiming that they are unable to find an internship. For those individuals without the determination to work hard at this or any other employment process DC (and the world) will be a very cruel place. This process rewards motivated and diligent students.

2. Time management/time commitment- Be aware that no employers offer 5 hour a week internships. If you are not ready or able to offer an employer 15-20 hours a week there will not be very many positions available to you. Some students should consider working just one partial afternoon each week (that will fall under volunteering), as it is rare to find structured internships with so few hours. Because time is limited for Global Scholars, please consider volunteering for just a few hours each week or month. This will help you gain experience and skills until you are able to commit to 15-20 hours or more each week. At that point as a junior or senior most employers are looking for you as a great candidate to assist them with their work.

3. Perfect resume and cover letters- Employers are not going to hire candidates who apply with errors and inconsistencies in their application materials. You will need to have your resume in a professional/college format. It should be easy to read, clear, in a 10-12 point sized font, but mostly remember to be concise with all of your information fitting on one page. For font type there is a lot of debate about what is best, and personal preference is another issue, but make sure the employer can read it. Try not to be so unique in your “personal branding” that the words are hard to read. Try to use legible fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, Cambria, Courier, Gil Sans, Verdana, Tahoma, or my favorite Calibri (below see Just My Type). These are very common fonts that are used the world over for a reason. If you wish to learn a lot more about font types and how truly important they are in our lives, or you are a serious resume and cover letter nerd like me consider reading Just My Type by Simon Garfield:

Your cover letter may be even more critical than your resume to your successful application for internships. Cover letters can be very challenging at first, as it takes time and effort to produce a quality document that will get an employer’s attention. It must be one page; brief with no more than 3-4 paragraphs. Cover letters are formal documents without jargon, slang, informal conversational style or expletives!

Always market yourself as having the qualifications that the employer is seeking. If you do not possess the qualifications required by for the position, move on to an opportunity that you are better suited for. Do not retell your resume or give your life story as it offers nothing new to support your qualifications as needed by the employer. Often students write an essay about how, “The world would be a better place if only”… Avoid sounding like an expert when talking to the people who are experts. Tell them you want to bring your skills, great attitude, knowledge, character, and experience to helping achieve their goals. Please refrain from telling an employer that you wish to learn about international law, how the federal government functions, communications, or human rights. Let them know you are prepared to help them promote advocacy, perform research, undertake some administrative tasks while working hard to support their mission.

I cannot stress how important it is to have it proofread by someone (perhaps me) before it is emailed or faxed to an employer. Interviewing is another very important subject that can be addressed when the time comes… when you have an offer to interview! Resumes and cover letters will not get you hired, but they will put you in front of the employer to talk about why they should hire you, so be prepared to have to interview to get the job.

4. Knowing where to look- Sure I was asked for just three tips but if you know me it is hard to get me to stop talking about internships! Consider this section is a bonus. Please come see me for all the resources you could ever hope for to help you find DC internships. For those who cannot wait please try some of the following:

I hope you find this information helpful for your internship search. Thank you for reading and I look forward to working with you. You can reach me with questions

David Fletcher
Career Advisor
School of International Service
Room 344
202.885.1811 - I rarely answer my phone : )

For appointments:

Drop-In Advising:
Thursdays in the SIS Atrium from 3:30 - 5:00 pm

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Global Scholars Program Featured in the SIS Newsletter


SIS Offers AU's First Three-Year Degree

Dean James Goldgeier speaks to the inaugural class of Global Scholars

October 31, 2012

The Global Scholars program is the first three-year B.A. offered at American University. The program accepted its first class of 57 high-achieving students in August 2011.

The program, profiled in U.S. News and World Report, The Chicago Tribune and USA Today, caters to academically motivated students who have a passion for studying international relations, said  Professor Sarah Cleeland Knight, the program's director.

While the program received over 400 applications for the class of 2014, we "wanted to keep it small to focus on each student," said Knight.

Distinctive opportunities for the participants include specialized internships and living-learning communities, where the first-year students live together, supported by second-year Global Scholars.

"We have monthly community meetings," said Knight. "We've hosted speakers from the World Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development. On Nov. 6, Dean Goldgeier will talk about U.S. foreign policy and the election, and we'll go to the election night party in the SIS building to watch the returns."

In August 2012, the program began mentoring the first-year students by second-year Global Scholars.

"The students were paired by their interests," said Knight. "They've met during the community meetings, but they also get together informally once a month. That's been helpful in terms of navigating course registration, student activities and how to be a successful student."

Summer study trips are a highlight of the Global Scholars program. In 2012, the students traveled to Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands.

"Studying abroad is a chance to complete core requirements toward the degree, and these courses are taught by AU experts in their field," said Knight. "But students also take advantage of the experiential learning elements. They learned about global environmental politics in the Galapagos, and studied international development in Costa Rica.

Global Scholar First Year Student Featured in the SIS Newsletter

International Service Attracts Students
Tyler Steinhardt, SIS/BA'15, in Masaka, Uganda.
October 31, 2012
Tyler Steinhardt, SIS/BA '15, considered several D.C. universities, but his search ended when he reached SIS and saw a brochure for the Global Scholars three-year B.A. program.

"I thought the program was intense and strong," said the Baltimore native. "I liked how AU focused internationally and the strong international service program."

International service is a hallmark of Steinhardt's life. Through high school work with Fields of Growth International, he became familiar with the Holistic Organization for People's Empowerment for Uganda Locals (HOPEFUL), a nonprofit that harnesses "the passion of the lacrosse community into positive social impact through global leadership development, service and growing the game," according to its website. The program developed the HOPEFUL Uganda Peace Village and Orphan School, and the Uganda Lacrosse Union. In 2011, Steinhardt was named the Ugandan National Coach of the Year, and as general manager of the country's lacrosse team, he is training the players for the 2014 World Championships in Denver.

Steinhardt said balancing his work abroad with his academic requirements is essential to the Global Scholars program. "Global Scholars allows me to pursue the HOPEFUL initiative. It's a true grassroots nonprofit movement, and that's the real power in it."

Steinhardt also combined his love of lacrosse and his talent for service through another grassroots movement. The "Shootout for Soldiers," a 24-hour lacrosse game in Baltimore, raised over $120,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project in summer 2012.

"The event was way better than anyone expected," Steinhardt said. "We had a $10,000 goal, and we ended up raising $120,000. A thousand people played in the game; it was insane."

Steinhardt hopes to pursue a career linking sports and development, a combination made possible by the Global Scholars program.

"Global Scholars supports this dream. AU focuses on internships and doing what you love and pursuing that. That rang bells for me. 'Are you going to allow me to do what I want with my life?' " Steinhardt said. "That was a big thing."

Link to the article: