Washington College: Where students are primed for success
Promoted by Washington College

Washington College: Where students are primed for success

Vietnamese national and student athlete Nguyen Thi Thao Van arrived at Washington College, miles away from her home in Vietnam to pursue a Business Management major and double minor in Marketing and International Business. From the first day she stepped foot on campus, Nguyen was welcomed with open arms by her new tennis teammates and coach — a gesture that helped her feel at home enough to focus fully on realising her potential.

Washington College was everything she was looking for – a small school in the cozy town of Chestertown, a great tennis team and a strong career support. Being an international student in a foreign country can be daunting but the college’s offerings provide Nguyen the chance to develop into an independent person who isn’t afraid of going after her goal of one day owning a business. Nguyen’s favorite classes include microeconomics, International Trade, International Finance and Organization Behaviour – all of which are useful to her future goal of starting her own business.

Nguyen Thi Thao Van. Source: Washington College

“My long-term goal in life is to own a business. Through my experience at Washington College, I have become a better person. I gained so much knowledge, experience and skills, such as leadership, which is an important life skill. I have also become more independent and become better at making choices,” the business management student shares.

What makes Washington College stand out is how student experiences are rooted in hands-on learning opportunities. Students typically complete summer internships which complement classroom learning, some of which count for academic credit. Approximately 70% of students here participate in experiential learning programs such as internships, research experiences, practicums and volunteer or community service projects.

What’s more, the college provides over US$100,000 annually to support summer experiences — affording students from underserved or marginalized backgrounds the ability to engage in meaningful internship and research programs. Online resources such as Handshake, GoinGlobal and Parker Dewey are readily available. Students can also join workshops and individual coaching appointments that provide resume services, links to open jobs and mock interviews.

Washington College has helped many international students achieve the American dream of working and living in the US. Source: Washington College

All of this is possible thanks to the Career Center which is managed by four experienced career development professionals. Both Nanette Cooley, Executive Director of Center for Career Development and Georgina Bliss, Assistant Director of the Center and Strengths Coach are passionate about their roles at the Center and love watching students blossom into confident individuals.

“For me, it is most fun to see how each one develops, discovers new passions, seeks challenges and grows both personally and professionally. The greatest gift is when a student realizes their individual potential and is well positioned to launch a career based on all that they’ve accomplished throughout their student experience,” Cooley shares.

Nanette Cooley. Source: Washington College

Bliss agrees. “I partner with students from discovery to designing their entry into professional life. I call it a ‘Dream Guide’’. Students are interesting young adults with so many fascinating ideas. They often need a professional who can talk, walk, and guide them through the challenges of the internship or job process. I also love supporting students through the graduate school process and helping them prepare applications and essays.”

International students like Nguyen take advantage of paid work opportunities on campus as well as paid internships in the summer off campus, allowing them to further explore their interests and professional culture in the United States. Some of the programs offered at Washington College that have significantly impacted students include the Brown Advisory student-managed investment program, Professional Association memberships, Model UN Competitions, Electric Boat Competitions, Maryland General Assembly Internship Program and the University Global Asset Management Forum.

Georgina Bliss. Source: Washington College

“Thanks to the Career Center, I have all of the information that I need to prepare for my future. Besides that, my advisor at the Career Center, Georgina Bliss, has been helping me so much throughout the process; creating a good Linkedin profile, finding jobs, understanding OPT for international students, finding grad school information and preparation. Thanks to Georgina, I’m well prepared for my future,” shares Nguyen.

International student success stories at Washington College aren’t surprising. Cooley shares her first-hand experience helping an international student navigate through working in the US and eventually even building a life for himself here.

“He came to this country with no support system in place beyond the college, but utilized every resource available to him. Through careful planning, he was able to secure internships in his desired field, master the English language, utilise alumni networks, take on leadership roles, and maximise every aspect of his student experience to achieve a life-long dream,” she shares.

“By graduation, a major energy company in the US had offered him a full-time position granting sponsorship. He knew full well the impact this opportunity would have on his life and successfully launched his career realising the goal that he had set for himself.”

Write your own success story at Washington College today. Apply here.

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