Shadow D.C. draws students interested in journalism, public policy


Over the past Winter Break, 21 current Lawrence students, ranging from freshmen to seniors and a recent graduate, participated in the Career Services-sponsored “Shadow D.C.” event. Students shadowed 29 various companies and organizations. Related fields included government, journalism, human rights and business.

Freshman Ruby Dickson, majoring in International Relations, shadowed Partnership for Public Service with Amiko Matsumoto, and International Business-Government Counsellors Inc. (IBC) with Kevin Walsh.

At the Partnership for Public Service, Dickson had informational interviews with a wide range of employees and got answers about their work experience, job responsibilities, satisfaction and many other important factors of their work. At IBC, she traveled constantly around the city, visiting different offices and attending press conferences and congressional meetings. Because of the holiday season, she also got a chance to visit some congressional holiday parties.

Senior William Sefton, who grew up near Washington D.C., is primarily interested in journalism. He shadowed Thomson Reuters and The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting in this shadow event.

At Thomson Reuters, Sefton went to a 9:00 a.m. call where journalists from offices all over the world discuss the day’s stories as they develop. Hosted by staff at Thomson Reuters, he took a tour of the White House press room, and watched Senate and House hearings from the press gallery. He also had lunch with Thomson Reuters staff at the National Press Corps.

Sefton sat in on a meeting with the Monga Bay director at the office of The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, which is a non-profit organization that supports independent journalists who travel the world to cover underreported stories.

He was glad to see many Lawrentians have become leaders in their fields.  He said, “Each alumnus I met not only held high positions in their jobs, but they had high impact in the work they were doing,” and “as the date of graduation gets closer, I have a little more confidence for my life after Lawrence. ”

Dickson said, “I was surprised by how many people that I worked with had earned liberal arts degrees before going on to graduate school, and by the wide range of pathways through which they had gotten their jobs.” She found her shadow experiences not only informational, but also beneficial for networking and internship opportunities.

Dickson was also impressed by the high diversity of daily activities. “At every place at which I shadowed, each employee seemed to possess a real sense of purpose, job satisfaction and interest, in addition to their skills,” she said.

Dickson was quite glad about the Shadow D.C. event. She said, “I’d recommend that any LU student sign up for this opportunity next year—not only is it easy to arrange, but Career Services even helped me with a scholarship towards my trip expenses, so it would be affordable for almost any student.”

In addition to the shadow experiences, Career Services joined the Alumni Welcome Reception for President Burstein at The Phillips Collection at Washington D.C. on Dec. 12, 2013.

Dean of Career Services Marry Meany ’83 believes that any opportunity for current students and alumni to network with one another is mutually beneficial. As she said, “Lawrentians—current and past—love to help one another, so the reception provides the venue to get to know one another a little more. ”