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Many people dream of one day working in the nation’s capital city, but making the first step to get there can be difficult. Liberty University’s Washington Fellowship provides the opportunity each semester for students to get a foot in the door with some of the country’s most influential corporations and organizations.
The Washington Fellowship is a program that places Liberty students from all majors into applicable internships in Washington, D.C., and its surrounding areas. Included in the program is housing, located only a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol.
Students wishing to be a part of the fellowship will first work with the Career Center on their professional resumé and interview skills, then proceed to apply for internships that can be applied toward course credit in most degrees.
Sarah Corder, an advertising and public relations major, went through the program this summer and enjoyed her experience.
“One of the biggest things that I gained from the experience was learning that I am capable of taking the head knowledge that I gained in the classroom and putting it into practice,” Corder said.
Currently a senior at Liberty, Corder worked for the Washington Speakers Bureau, an agency that books high-profile speakers, including politicians and professional athletes, for different occasions such as commencement addresses and panel discussions.
According to Corder, the Washington Fellowship prepares students to become champions for Christ in secular workplaces and communities.
“The Washington Fellowship brings students of all different majors together to fulfill the purpose that Dr. Jerry Falwell talked about — taking our Christian faith to the world, being the best at what we do and evangelizing through excellence in our craft,” Corder said.
Corder is one of 16 students from Liberty who completed the Washington Fellowship this summer.
After leaving work, students living in D.C. will not be hard-pressed to find something exciting to do.
“On the weekends, I was able to see all of our nation’s greatest monuments, go to all of the free Smithsonian museums and expand my knowledge even outside of the office,” Corder said.
Many students are also offered jobs from their internship once they complete the term.
“When you graduate from the Washington Fellowship program, you become a fellow for life, and that opens up a lot of doors for networking that will last forever,” Corder said. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime (opportunity) that I will never forget.”
Dan Berkenkemper, the Washington Fellowship’s placement coordinator, has been working for the Career Center for two years and is passionate about his position and seeing students excel in their craft through the program.
“One of the incredible things about my job is that I get to see students who say, ‘It would be my dream to get to National Geographic or Fox News, something big,’ then actually obtain it, move on to success in D.C. and climb the ladder even further once they’re up there,” Berkenkemper said.
For more information on the Washington Fellowship, visit the Career Center on the first floor of DeMoss Hall, or visit their webpage at liberty.edu/careers.