Washington Program Intern Profiles

 

Byron Koay ’06 and the Washington Program were made for each other.

Since graduation, Koay, an Economics and Government dual major, has been involved in D.C. politics in a big way. “I was always interested in politics going into CMC and thought it would be a great experience to live and work in Washington, D.C.,” he says. “I don’t know how it is now but when I was at CMC, the program was seen as a very competitive and prestigious opportunity to do something that not many students in the country get to do.”

Q: What did you take home from the Program?
Koay: Learning how to balance work and life probably much earlier than rest of my peers because we had to work a full-time internship, attend classes at night (which required reading and writing papers), and living a “real-world” existence (finding your own apartment, maintaining it, etc.).

 

Gavin Landgraf ’14 knew he wanted to participate in the Washington Program during his junior year even before enrolling at CMC.

“My interest in public policy drew me to D.C., and I knew the Washington Program, which runs during the academic year instead of over the summer, would be the best way of experiencing the nation’s capital,” he says. “Once I arrived at CMC, Dr. Ken Miller recommended that I apply for the Program and helped me arrange my internship at the law firm Cooper & Kirk.”

Landgraf, a PPE major at CMC remembers the fall of 2012 as an exciting time to be in the U.S. Capitol.

“There is no denying that the Washington Program is demanding, between the academic workload and the full-time job,” he says. “I found that the pressure helped me to build professional habits such as communicating clearly, managing expectations and sticking to a personal schedule. These habits were essential during my senior year at CMC and in the years since D.C.”

 

Jenna Hussein ’15 is a newly-minted CMC graduate who participated in the Washington Program just three years ago in the fall of 2013. But despite Hussein’s relatively short time-span to date out in the “real world” post-graduation, she, like many CMCers before her (and doubtless many others that will come after) has packed a lot of activity in that duration.

“I graduated in May 2015, backpacked in Europe/West Africa for two months, and began working at an economic consulting firm (Analysis Group) in Los Angeles,” she says. “I am involved with pro bono work through the company and am currently researching the long-term outcomes of HIV treatment programs in Rwanda.”

 

Back in the fall of 1991, Matthew Bibbens ’92 gained something from the Washington Program that he can sum up in one word: Confidence. “I learned to have confidence in myself and developed the ability to see the Program as an opportunity to apply what I had learned at CMC in more of a real world setting,” he says.

Bibbens, who graduated from CMC with an Economics-History dual major, admits that his academic trajectory at CMC “lagged a bit.”

Craig McPherson mugshot
 

In 2004, Craig McPherson ’06 was drawn to the Washington Program. As a PPE/Government double major participating in the Program might seem a natural extension of McPherson’s interests – but it was more utilitarian than just that.

“From deep study of the philosophical origins of our system of government to the more crass practical politics of the interplay of elected officials, think tanks, interest groups and the media, a CMC government major has a better understanding than most of the moving parts that make our government function,” he says. “The Washington Program gave a real life opportunity to put into use what we were learning in the classroom.” 

 

Byron Koay ’06 and the Washington Program were made for each other.

Since graduation, Koay, an Economics and Government dual major, has been involved in D.C. politics in a big way. “I was always interested in politics going into CMC and thought it would be a great experience to live and work in Washington, D.C.,” he says. “I don’t know how it is now but when I was at CMC, the program was seen as a very competitive and prestigious opportunity to do something that not many students in the country get to do.”

Q: What did you take home from the Program?

Koay: Learning how to balance work and life probably much earlier than rest of my peers because we had to work a full-time internship, attend classes at night (which required reading and writing papers), and living a “real-world” existence (finding your own apartment, maintaining it, etc.).

Q: What kind of a career have you had?

Chris Behrman
 

Chris Behrman ’89 ascribes to the firmly held belief that studying off-campus is an important part of the overall college experience for any student.

“It forces you out of your routine and teaches you important life skills,” he says. “To me, the Washington Program represented a unique opportunity to learn about politics and government firsthand while living in our nation’s capitol.  The opportunity to intern with a firm of my choosing was also very attractive.  After doing some research, I decided to intern with a firm where I could pursue my interests in both financial services and government affairs.”  

Behrman, an Economics major at CMC, participated in the Program in the fall of 1987. As an intern at the national stock brokerage firm, E.F. Hutton, Behrman was part of a team that provided legislative research and analysis for clients.

Brooke Millis mugshot
 

Like so many Washington Program participants from CMC, Brooke Millis ’04 had her eye on the program from the time she did her initial search about which colleges she might elect to attend.

“I loved the idea that students would be able to experience living and working in D.C. while still engaged in classes,” says Millis who majored in International Relations at CMC and participated in the Program in 2002. “The program sounded both unique and challenging – and it was.  Of the many Washington, DC programs I subsequently heard of, CMC’s had no match in intensity or impact.”

Capitol Building in D.C.
 

“I had an interest in politics and the program was a chance to learn about government and politics in the most powerful city in the world since, in my opinion, Washington D.C. is basically the strongest seat of government in the world,” says Kevin Arnold ’90 about the reasons that drew him to participate in the Washington Program in January 1989. “It also was first time I lived outside of the Los Angeles area, and I had some cousins living in D.C. including one that I stayed with during my time there. Capitol Hill itself was a draw. I had an opportunity to intern at different office for a national nonprofit organization, but I wanted to work on Capitol Hill and I was glad I did.”

Margaret Wang Rattay
 

Long before Margaret Wang Rattay ’97 enrolled in the Washington Program, she loved the nation’s capitol. In fact, it was during a high school trip she made to D.C. to attend a week-long conference that Margaret (a Government/Music major at CMC) became interested in the workings of government and how she could become involved.

She got her wish when she enrolled in the Washington Program in the fall of 1995. “I wanted to experience what it would be like to live and work in D.C.,” Maggie says, “all within the parameters that CMC provided.”

Those parameters – full-time internships rooted in serious discussions of contemporary political issues -- have helped to make the Program a proud tradition at CMC for more than four decades and have benefitted generations of students at the College.

Contact

Center for Global Education

Claremont McKenna College
500 E. Ninth Street
Claremont, CA 91711

Phone: (909) 621-8267
Fax: (909) 607-8690
Email:

Campus Location

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