Important Advice To Help Make Your WMI Experience A Success

By Madeline Roberts

If you are reading this you might fall under one of these two categories:

  1. You are a prospective WMI student or
  2. You are already a student of WMI, three or four weeks in desperately trying to figure out what you got yourself into.

No matter which one of these you might place yourself into, welcome! D.C. is an amazing place, full of unlimited possibility and opportunity. To help you best take advantage of your time here, I have compiled some of the best advice that I have received from WMI faculty and alumni thus far, in hopes of helping you succeed during your time in Washington, D.C.

“Become Furniture”

– Amos Gelb

This seems silly, right? What does becoming furniture even mean? Well, when you become furniture, whether it is at an internship, at a job, or even in a friendship, you are becoming that person that someone can trust to hold them up. People don’t think about the chair before they sit in it, they just sit in it. You want to be the intern or employee that your boss always goes to  because they trust you to do the work just how they would want it done. Ever since Amos told us this on our first day of class I have strived to become someone that my office can depend on. While every path to becoming furniture is different, some of the things I have been doing are:

  • Trying to go above and beyond on any assigned projects or tasks
  • Showing up early and leaving late
  • Anticipating the needs of the people in my office
  • Taking on extra responsibilities without being asked

“Travel Above Ground”

– Katey Haas

Now don’t get me wrong, the Metro is fast, convenient, and reliable, but man was Katey right! There are so many things constantly going on in D.C. and the best way to get to know your new town is to see everything. I have been able to spot so many more things that I want to go to and check out, from food, to parks and events, and even landmarks, by just wandering around or riding the bus to and from work. If you are worried about looking too sweaty, don’t be! Everyone is. Get outside and enjoy the “fresh” air.

“Network, Network, Network”

– Literally EVERYONE

It turns out people here really do want to help you, so take advantage of it while you can! Go to networking events, reach out to someone you have just met, or ask to grab coffee with someone who has your dream job. The worst they can say is no, and that’s not even that bad. Believe me, I understand how intimidating it can be, and I am working on this myself, but you might as well try! Go to every event you never thought you would go to. Talk to everyone. And most importantly, say thank you!

Finally, for a little bit of personal advice, utilize everyone at WMI. I am only three weeks into the program and I have been able to do so many cool things just because I asked if I could. Remember, it never hurts to ask.