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Students enjoy a career-focused spring break in the nation’s capital

Students enjoy a career-focused spring break in the nation’s capital

As Congress held hearings on the 2021 budget and FIU advocates promoted research on developmental disabilities, IDEAS WEEK brought 100 students to seminars and meetings with employers and convened a national dialogue on artificial intelligence and jobs.

March 2, 2020 at 9:30am

Nearly 100 FIU students visited the nation’s capital for spring break last week with the goal of cultivating ideas and researching employment opportunities through workshops and site visits. The trip was part of IDEAS Week 2020.  

Four groups from the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs; College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts; College of Law; and Student Access and Success took part in the annual tradition.

“This proved to me that anything is possible and that internships in D.C. are not unattainable. I plan on coming back to D.C. after graduation and this fly-in proved to me that I can,” said Aariyona Timmons, an undergrad in recreation and sport management.

Timmons, who is passionate about athletes' rights, is just one of many examples of students who took advantage of her spring break in Washington, D.C., to help advance her career and engage in national policy issues.

While on the Capitol Hill, she was able to discuss possible NCAA legislation focused on name image and likeness (NIL) income for student-athletes with staffers for Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Al Lawson. Timmons also met with a representative from the National Football League Players Association to speak about potential internships with their organization.

Student groups joining IDEAS WEEK this year:

  • Green School Gordon Institute Intelligence Fellows visiting Intelligence Agencies for the 10th year  
  • College of Law visiting federal agencies solicitor's offices
  • College of Communications, Architecture and the Arts: Public Relations visiting several public relations firms and agencies
  • Student Access and Success visiting a mix of federal, corporate, and non-profit organizations

Congressional and agency exposure

On almost every students' itineraries were stops to Congress and federal agencies. Student Access and Success participants spoke to staffers from a bipartisan, bicameral pair of Congressional offices on the challenges that former foster youth and homeless students face on university campuses nationally. Meanwhile, College of Law students visited alumna Charlyn Stanberry who discussed her role as chief of staff to Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, who represents New York's 9th congressional district. 

For the 10th year in a row, intelligence fellows from the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy visited 10 intelligence agencies, including the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency, where they met with recruiters and presented capstone projects.

Even the judiciary was covered as students from the College of Law had the unique experience of witnessing an oral argument at the Supreme Court. The students got to see the procedures they learn about in legal writing classes at the highest level of law. 

“We didn’t mind getting in line at 7 a.m. in the cold for oral arguments that were starting at 10 a.m. We got to experience what we learn about in classrooms in person and follow along even as first-year law students,” said Dilara Demirel.

Engaging in the artificial intelligence dialogue

During IDEAS Week, FIU in DC hosted a panel on future impacts of artificial intelligence on careers at AARP’s The Hatchery. Panelists included alumni of the FIU in DC network: Vice President Jonathan Mangual from the Department of Defense; Dr. Annie Green who developed Georgetown’s Managing AI Certificate; and Michael McLaughlin from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Students learned about the growing artificial intelligence industry and how these programs will impact every field.  

“Take detecting cancer… programs designed with artificial intelligence will be able to screen quickly and efficiently through radiographic tests. Whereas, it would take days or weeks for a human to do this task. It is not taking away the job of the radiographer but making it more efficient for everyone involved,” McLaughlin said.

FIU in DC's goal is for students involved in these fly-ins to apply and earn internships with the federal, corporate, and nonprofit organizations. 

Also in Washington, D.C., las week:

  • Vice Provost for Population Health Dr. Yogi Hernandez-Suarez and Director of FIU Embrace Nicole Attong visited the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Dr. Bridget Cram, assistant vice president for Academic and Student Affairs met with corporate partners and federal officials participating in the intelligence fellows program.

FIU in Washington, D.C., is an integrated advocacy approach aimed at increasing FIU’s national reputation and federal support for FIU’s preeminent and emerging preeminent programs, faculty and students. The FIU in DC team collaborates with academic units to provide learning experiences and support the placement of students and alumni in internships and permanent employment.  
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