Monday, January 25, 2010

The Application Process (Pt. I)

Dr. Spalding, the director of the program will be coming to CMC the week of February 1 and will hold an information session where she will be able to answer more questions about the application process and the program.

If you don't feel like reading the entire post (it's a little lengthy) here are some tips:
Although the statements may seem short, make sure you put a lot of thought into them as the entire selection committee will be reading the application.
If you're a person who ends up turning things in right before the deadline (turned in my CMC application with 7 minutes to spare) you want to make sure that you have enough time to get the passport-type photos. This can be an easy thing to forget and if you find yourself printing off your application with an hour to spare and realize that the only thing that you are missing are the photos, it can be nerve-wracking.
It is handy to have your recommendation writer provide a recommendation that you can not only use for the application but can also use it for internship applications.
Be sure to check out Professor Pitney's page on how to ask for a letter of recommendation.

The Application:
The application process for the Washington Program is pretty straightforward. It can be found online at the "Applicants" section of the official Washington Program website. The application for the Fall 2010 semester is due February 5 so anyone who's interested should get started. It's an 8 page application which may seem a little daunting, but it's definitely worth it. The program mostly consists of government majors, but there are certainly people from different departments. For example, this semester Jenny is an Econ-accounting major and is working at the accounting office of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Ben Harris is also working for the SEC. I had contemplated working for the national office of the Japan-America Society, so it is certainly possible to come to Washington even if you are not interested in American politics and if you are interested you should apply.

The first two parts of the application are fairly simple, just general personal information as well as the times when you would be free for an interview. After that, you have to put a little more thought into it.

Part III requires that you show that you have planned out your credits for graduation. Even if you don't end up applying, this is probably a good thing to do.

Part IV is a resume which career services will work with you to ensure that it will help you land an internship you want while you are in the district.

Part V has two statements that have you write about why you want to go on the program and describe the internships you want to do. You should begin to suggest a few internships that you find interesting. The other statement asks you to describe why you are prepared to handle the rigorous demands of the program.

Part VI is a couple of passport-type photos that you can get at a bunch of places.

Part VII is a transcript that CMC students do not have to worry about making arrangements (simply put your signature on the application). Students from the other 4Cs have to make arrangements to have their transcript provided to the selection committee.

Part VIII is a letter of recommendation. Pretty straightforward, but make sure you give your writer plenty of time to write the recommendation and submit it to the committee.

One other part of the application that you have to submit but doesn't have its own "part" is the "Dean of Students Clearance". This has to be submitted to the Dean of Students office and has the same deadline as the rest of the application.

Good Luck!

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