Saturday, January 31, 2009

The First Week is a Success

After many sad goodbyes, my mom and I hit the road to D.C. It wasn't exactly fun, and I would not suggest driving across the country through a winter storm. We stopped each hour or so to de-ice the car:

It was nerve racking to be going through it all, but we made it safe and sound on Wednesday afternoon. I met all of my roommates, and I don't think I could be matched with better people. And, we are in the top floor of our building. Right down the hall, we have an amazing view of the Mall of Monuments.

From our window, you can see the Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon. It's very impressive.
The first night we had our Residential meeting, and got to meet everybody living in our building. I've met three people that are interning at the same place as me, as well as quite a few that will be interning at the Potomac Advocates (where Ray interned last semester).
This is going to be an amazing experience. It seemed like it may be overwhelming to meet so many new people at once, but I was pleasantly supprised. Although everyone I have met all come from different backgrounds, there are so many things we all have in common just by being in the program.

This weekend, I'm going out to do some of the tourist things. I start my internship on Monday, so wish me luck!
Until next time,


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Exploring DC with Candice... Step 1: Preparations and Introductions

Good Afternoon!

I am Candice Nivison, and I have also been accepted into The Washington Center Program at Rogers State University for the Spring 2009 semester. I’m a graduating senior studying Communications. I am originally from Manchester, CT, but moved to Oklahoma several years back now. I’ve attended RSU since the Fall of 2005, and thanks to great friends and faculty members, my experience here has been one that I will never forget. Getting to go to Washington D.C. is just one of the many opportunities that RSU has offered me.

When I think about Washington DC, it brings up many ideas, feelings, and memories. I've gotten a lot of advice from people I care about regarding this city... one of the most common seems to be "be careful!" But more often, I've heard "This is an amazing opportunity... take advantage of it". It’s a little crazy to think that this time next week, Erica and I will both be in D.C. sitting in orientation. Before I go into any further detail about my plans in D.C., I would like to explain a little bit more about the program.

The Washington Center(TWC) is the name of the internship program. They assist you in getting the interviews for your field of choice, finding one course to take while you are there, and they also provide housing. At RSU, there is a competitive application process. If you are selected to go, RSU will pay TWC’s program and housing fees, and will waive tuition and fees for the semester. The only out of pocket costs will be for transportation, food, and entertainment. Also, RSU is awarding 12 credit hours for completing the program. To find out more about what RSU has to offer in this program, get more information here: . Also, Dr. Carolyn Taylor heads the program here at RSU, and she is a great resource to learn more about it.

I had heard about this program my sophomore year at Rogers State, but did not think it would be possible to go. I had a lot of commitments already made in Oklahoma, and it did not look like it would work with the courses that I had left to take. Fortunately, thanks to my advisor, Dr. Boyd, and the helpful staff and faculty at RSU, I have been able to match my work in D.C. with my graduation requirements, and I will still be finished with my coursework on schedule. This is my last semester as an undergrad, and I plan on making the most of my time in Washington.

During my stay, I will be interning with Information Technology Association of America (ITAA). They have just completed a merger with American Electronics Association (AeA) on January 1st. They are a non-profit IT lobbying firm, and I will have opportunities in attending congressional meetings, coordinating events, and more. I am looking forward to being in Washington for the beginning of President Obama’s term. He has several plans for online identity security, and it will be an exciting time in D.C. If you want to learn more about my company, here is their website:

I am grateful for this break that we have had in between semesters to get ready. I’ve had to go shopping for more business attire as well as other supplies in preparation. Thank goodness my internship dress is business casual on a day to day basis. I’m actually going to be driving out with my mom this Tuesday. With the cost of gas prices and shipping, it was actually cheaper to travel this way… plus we can have some quality mother-daughter time before I go.

Thank you all so much for your help and support over the years. Your friendships, teachings, and creativity have inspired me and pushed me to succeed. I love you all, each in your own individual way and thank you for being their not for good times only, but also during times of misfortune. I am so excited to have this opportunity with RSU, and I look forward to taking a giant step up in this world. Please, please, please keep in touch. Tonight marks the last night that I will get to spend with many of my sorority sisters, and this whole week will be full of goodbyes and new beginnings. I have had an amazing experience so far at RSU, and can’t wait to continue my education in Washington D.C.

Until next time,


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

E.T. goes to D.C.

Also known as Erica Taylor... giving a glimpse of myself and insight on MY experience in Washington DC.

I remember reading the email months ago about the Washington Center (TWC) Internship program. It’s a program available for all students and RSU pays for the students selected for the internship. Well, I guess that's all I needed to know :-) I wanted to know what TWC program was about so I attended the meeting. After the first meeting I was really blown away on what TWC had to offer. I also was at a crossroads where I was trying to figure out if Communications was something I really wanted to do and get a career in or switch back to my original major Biology and continue from there. I thought the TWC Internship program would be a great opportunity in helping with that decision. A day after my birthday, I found out I was accepted to TWC. I was so happy, especially my mother, she was screaming though the phone! After calming down, I realized that this is something that I wanted to fully embrace and take advantage of this opportunity… And it all starts January 28th!

While in DC, I’ll be interning for Tribune Broadcasting. Tribune is America’s largest employee-owned media company, operating businesses in publishing, interactive and broadcasting. Tribune operates basically in the major cities, one of them including Houston, my hometown. Their cable channel is WGN, and they are affiliated with FOX, CW, and ABC. During my internship, I’ll be doing things like writing, editing and putting together news stories, doing interviews, and helping the reporters and producers with newsgathering and production. A lot of news will be covering the first one hundred days of President Obama and political issues which I know will be a very interesting and exciting time during my stay in DC. My interests are to get into TV broadcasting and/or news reporting. I decided to intern for Tribune because I think they will be best suited for preparing me towards my interest. Also, because I see it as a challenge for me, working with news that’s more politically related instead of news that’s more sports entertainment related. So I can’t wait to get to work!

Besides working, I’ll be taking a class called: Media, Ethics, and the Movies, which seems like a fun and interesting course but it wasn't my first choice, so I may change it when I get to DC. I’ll be doing so many other things that will keep me busy and on my toes. I’ll be attending meetings, lectures, events, activities. I’ll get into greater detail as I come across them. I’ll also will be creating a portfolio which (from what I’ve seen) will be a thick document of what I've experienced during my internship, which will be helpful for future references.

Well for the past month, I've been doing a lot of preparing for DC. Mostly, it’s been shopping and I’m loving it! I had to get a lot of business attire clothes and more warm clothes. So out with the old athletic, sporty, basketball wear and gear, and in with the new professional, business attire. I can't wait to flaunt my new look :-) I also will be getting my first MP3 player. I figure it’s finally time to get one so I won't have to worry about carrying a CD player and a pack CDs and batteries around :-)

During my application process for TWC, I received a great amount of help and encouragement. Thanks to Dr. Carolyn Taylor for having such an opportunity available for RSU students and for your help along the way. Thanks to Coach Amy Williams and Supervisor Brian Murrison for taking time to write recommendation letters for me. Thanks to my teachers Dr. Gentry, Dr. Evusa, Mr. Williams and Mr. Blakey for your help and encouragement along the way. I learned so much this past semester, which will help a great deal in DC. Thanks to Brandon Denton. As an editor, you helped my essays go from good to great and well written. Thanks to Tasha Parker for your continuous support. You were the first person I told about my acceptance. Thanks to my family for their ongoing faith, love, support and encouragement. They're proud to know that I’ll be on my way to DC, during this moment in time. Thanks to friends and others who I have not mentioned specifically that were also supportive throughout the process.

My spring in DC I know will be one of the most memorable and impacting time in my life. Most importantly, it’s about my future and moving forward in the career path that will be right for me, gaining experience and knowledge that will prepare me for life in the professional world. It’s a chance that not too many others get to experience in such a way, and I am very fortunate for this opportunity. I also look forward to doing a lot of sightseeing, touring, picture taking and just seizing the moment and enjoying myself each day while I’m in DC. This will be one spring semester I will never forget....

How's my blogging? At least, weekly I’ll be blogging about my experience in DC. I also will be blogging for TWC so check that out too. Here's the link: Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions, advice, feedback, etc.

Signing out,

Erica Taylor (ET)