Networking in the Nation's Capital

Networking in the Nation’s Capital

International studies and business students visit the Democratic Governors Association in Washington D.C.

International studies and business students spent winter break exploring career opportunities with fellow Stags in Washington D.C.

Not only did I gain insight into the job market related to my field, but I made lasting connections... I even got a job application from one of the alumni.

— Tara Bailey ’20

Thirteen undergraduate students from Fairfield University’s International Studies and International Business programs headed south to the nation’s capital over the winter break to participate in a three-day alumni networking trip, organized by International Studies associate director Anita Deeg-Carlin. Throughout their visit, students met and mingled with a dozen Fairfield alumni and University friends working in the D.C. area, and explored a variety of career and internship opportunities related to their field. Funding for the trip was supported by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Dolan School of Business, the departments of Politics and Economics, and the University’s programs in International Studies, International Business, Environmental Studies, and Humanitarian Action. 

“International studies and international business majors are so flexible in the job market that it’s incredibly beneficial for students to become exposed to the plethora of career options available to them as early in their academic pathway as possible,” Deeg-Carlin said. “In many of these fields, personal contacts are essential to getting one’s foot in the door, so by networking with successful alumni working in global health, government, finance, and other related fields, our students gained hundreds of valuable connections in just three short days.”

Fairfield alumni participants included Cristen Ford ’01, deputy director for the Office of Radiological Security at the National Nuclear Security Administration; Sarah Howe Elliott ’07, digital project/production manager at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Marta Matselioukh ’04, global supply chain operations director for Chemonics International; Patience Mhlanga ’14, George Washington University graduate student and Peace Corps Zambia public health volunteer; Heather Owens ’05, research director for the Democratic Governors Association; Julia Schuble ’10, industry and business analyst at the U.S. Department of Commerce; Adrienne Sgarlato ’17, program assistant at the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Institute; and Tom Vitlo ’09, manager at the global advisory and counsulting firm Stout.

“Not only did I gain insight into the job market related to my field, but I made lasting connections,” said politics major and international studies minor Tara Bailey ’20. “I even got a job application from one of the alumni.”

While the International Studies program has hosted similar alumni networking trips to local areas like New York City, this was the first time the program organized a trip to the nation’s capital, which included a visit to the White House and a meeting with Washington Internship Institute Internship Program Coordinator Kate Schaefer. Deeg-Carlin said the trip was so successful that the International Studies program will plan another trip or virtual conference with the University’s D.C. alumni in the coming years.

“Realizing the levels of success that even some of our recent alums have reached in D.C. was an inspiration to all of us,” Deeg-Carlin said. “Our international studies network is so rich with connections, opportunities, and supportive mentors, that it just makes sense to continue in this direction.”

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