2013 Washington & The World Experience
Led by Dean Suzette Grillot and Dr. Rebecca Cruise
Deadline to apply: November 30, 2012
Independent Study credit possible
Contact Dr. Cruise for more information firstname.lastname@example.org
- See the US government at work
- Attend CIS Board of Visitors meeting and connect with CIS Alumni
- Make government and industry contacts! Network!
- Visit media outlets
- Meet with International Activists and others in the NGO sector
- Tour embassies, monuments and museums
Students share their experiences...
The Washington and the World trip has been one of my college highlights. I love traveling, learning and meeting people, and the trip encompassed those things and much more. I really enjoyed getting to know myclassmates and how we all interacted in a different environment outside of the classroom. There are few things as special as traveling with a group of people and bonding with them through learning and growing.
I learned from every visit and meeting we had, from foreign services to NGOs to media organizations. My favorite part was learning about the Brazilian Ambassador’s background and his job, and particularly the behind-the-scenes look at his residence. It was awesome to see his home and how he hosted guests like us. That was something I would not have ever been able to experience had it not been for the Washington and the World trip.
I also really enjoyed visiting Bloomberg News and learning from the White House Correspondent about her coverage of our nation’s capital and her experiences as she travels with our president. That is also something Icould not have gained from simply reading her articles.
Another favorite part of the Washington and the World trip was the opportunity to explore DC in our free time. The Cherry Blossom Festival has been on my “bucket list” for a while now, and I was able to experience it with classmates. It was surreal to be in our nation’s capital during the beautiful 100th anniversary of the Cherry Blossom Festival.
I am thankful for the opportunity to be apart of OU’s College of International Studies and the Washington and the World class. This experience has added excitement and depth to international studies and redefined college classes, and I would recommend every college student have an opportunity like mine.
Day 5 – Charles Krauthammer shares his crystal ball of foreign policy with the students of "Washington & The World."
My favorite quote from the entire trip was Professor Cooper saying, “You can have it all, just not at once.” The most influential part of hearing from such successful people in international affairs was seeing the commonalities among them. The consensus being that you have to start from the bottom and you have to make sacrifices. The speaker that spoke most candidly about this was the former spokesperson for the National Security Council. While he started out as a foreign service officer, many speakers started in similar positions – entry-level positions either as staffers on The Hill , FSOs, or in the field with an NGO. Witnessing the career paths of these individuals along with my own exploration of my strengths and personality, led me to some larger conclusions about my desired career path. The best advice we received overall was from Damon Wilson, which Ambassador Toush expanded upon as well, the most important aspect of a job or career path is doing something that matters and doing it right. This is exactly why I’m going to Officer Candidate School and want to be a leader in our military. I hope someday to influence our foreign policy in a positive direction, but I would be more than satisfied to serve in a position when I implement that policy by doing the right thing all the time – by having integrity.
Day 2 – The "Washington & The World" students experience a rich, fireside chat with Congressman Tom Cole. He gave insights on what organizations he believes make great impacts in international activism and policy–making.
Although he was not an official speaker, my private conversations with Deveer Pearson were the most impactful on me personally. On the DC trip, I was dealing with having to decide officially where I am going to law school in the fall, which I was having a lot of difficulty with. I was trying to decide where I see my career going and which school would best get me there. Mr. Pearson, an OU Law graduate, told me about his law school experience and career. I was surprised to find out that he too faced some of the struggles I was facing. He gave me a lot of insight and he, along with other lawyers I talked to on the trip, ultimately helped me to make my decision to attend OU Law. I also love that although Mr. Pearson has lived away from Oklahoma for a long time, he is still an Okie at heart and excited to help young Oklahomans. Mr. Pearson was very inspiring and helped influence me to make the riskier, but hopefully more rewarding choice. He serves on the OU Law Board of Visitors so I will see him regularly and we plan to keep in touch.
Day 5 – "Washington & The World" students on the set of "Inside Washington" at ABC7. The students had the unique opportunity to sit in on the show featuring ABC's Gordon Peterson, Charles Krauthammer, PBS' Mark Shields, NPR's Nina Totenberg, and Colby King from The Washington Post.
The speaker who made the most impact on me personally and professionally was Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President and Director of the International Security Program at the Atlantic Council. I could see the passion he still has while he was speaking with us and that was an experience that seemed very real to me. I was inspired to discover what I am passionate about because I hope to make it through my career and still exude passion for my walk in life like Mr. Wilson. He was especially impactful on my career goals because he is a Europeanist like I am. It was encouraging to know that it is possible to work in European Affairs despite the overwhelming numbers of interested applicants. Finally, his work in Africa for Save the Children inspired me to find a job outside of my comfort zone for the sake of learning and growing myself and my career. I am working now to discover what aspect of international affairs I am most passionate about so I can look back on my career in twenty or thirty years and still feel fulfilled and passionate. Damon Wilson showed me that it is possible and worthwhile to follow your passions and enjoy your career.
Day 3 – The "Washington & The World" students were extended an invitation by Brazilian Ambassador to the United States, Mauro Vieira, to tour both the residency and the chancery of the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Pictured far left is OU College of International Studies development officer Lyndsey Ray and far right are secretaries Raphael Tosti and André Maciel.
Honestly, the speaker that had the largest impact on me didn’t speak very much, she asked quite a few questions, however. I was always told that “networking” was very important and I should always strive to meet new people. I never really believed in the power of networking until this trip. It is amazing how Rebecca Cooper set all of our meetings and visits up mostly by who she knew and who they knew. It was networking and determination at its best. If I didn’t learn anything on this trip and in this class, I would at least come away with the people I met in DC and the life friends I made in this class. Professor Cooper, thank you for all you have done. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Day 3 – The "Washington & The World" students pause briefly on the famous Pennsylvania Avenue for a snapshot in front of the U.S. Capital Building. The group was on there way to network with OU Alumni from the Capital Club.