Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Spring Break Reflections

Today we have a post by student blogger Daphne P.

My spring break was very productive, and yet still not long enough! Having just spent a weekend in Arizona for a friend’s bachelorette party, and with the Boston Marathon and my friend’s wedding both coming up in April, I took advantage of the week “off” to stay put in DC and take care of the seemingly hundreds of things on my non-school-related To Do List! Some were little things (a haircut, donating old running shoes, getting my bridesmaid dress hemmed…) and others were bigger personal tasks (tax returns!). But what kept me busiest was working on my summer plans. Generally, first-year SAIS students intern in order to get additional work experience and, perhaps, test out a place they might hope to work after graduating. But finding an internship, of course, takes some work! So I spent much of the week continuing to research organizations, search for internship programs, and prepare applications. I also took the opportunity to schedule several networking meetings. The SAIS Career Counselor I’ve worked with had given me names of several SAIS alumni working in my field, so I scheduled meetings to learn more about how they got to their current positions, what advice they have, and whether they could guide me in my internship search. I’m not a natural “networker,” but really enjoyed these meetings and found them very helpful! It’s great to know that there’s a strong SAIS alumni community willing and ready to make the time for current students. I also scheduled a meeting with one of my professors, both to review a proposed topic for my final paper and to discuss my internship search. He, too, was very helpful, and offered to connect me with an organization I hadn’t previously known. So, while there’s still work to do before summer, I feel like I’ve made progress!

Of course, I also took some time for myself this break. I enjoyed walking to-and-from meetings,
taking the long way to explore new neighborhoods and relishing the hints of spring. I spent a day with an old friend who happened to be in town, strolling through Georgetown and catching up over dinner. I slept more, spent time with my roommate, volunteered, and chatted with family. These are important things that sometimes get neglected in the stress of getting through all those readings, papers, and problem sets…. So, as classes resume and I start adding items to a fresh to-do list, I’m committing to keeping this in mind. A rested brain is more productive, after all, and getting to take advantage of this great city is part of what makes coming to SAIS so incredible! Cherry Blossom Festival, anyone?

From the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC