New College program combines classes, internships

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March 2, 2010

2:21 AM

The College of William and Mary has instituted a summer program that guarantees accepted students placement in summer internships. The College’s Washington, D.C. office, working with the Mason School of Business and the government department, now offers two new summer programs, the Summer Security Institute and Summer Business Institute.

“It really started with a conversation with [government] professor Dennis Smith,” Adam Anthony ’87, director of the College’s D.C. office, said.

Smith and government professor Amy Oakes run an organization called The Project on International Peace and Security. According to Anthony, the program began as a discussion about PIPS, and naturally led into this institute.

The programs consist of two weeks of courses, followed by nine-week-long summer internships. Anthony says the program is a “replication” of the William and Mary in Washington program. However, while the semester-long D.C. programs change from year to year, the summer institutes will focus on international business and international security. Students will also spend a portion of their time visiting sites around the capital.

“It’s intense, but it’s the kind of thingwhere you’re going to learn a lot by listening and seeing and meeting,” he said.

Because only 20 slots were open to students, applications far exceeded spots. The program declined to release the number of applicants.

Career Center Associate Director David Lapinski will work closely with the program to identify businesses interested in offering internships.

“Students are with such an advantage these days when graduating with [an internship],” Anthony said. “We spend a lot of effort and time identifying internship opportunies. Sometimes, it’s through alumni who approach us. Sometimes, we approach the organizations … that we think would be great places for students to intern.”

Internship opportunities for this summer include the Department of Homeland Security Policy Office and the Discovery Channel. Students will also have the option of finding their own internships.

According to Anthony, few other universities offer similar programs.

“I think George Washington [University] does,” he said. “Other organizations have summer schools here in D.C., but GW is the only one I know that does something like this. Their’s is three credits, and ours is six to seven — six for the business school and seven for the security institute.”

International relations professor Elizabeth Arsenault ’02 and business professor Don Rahtz will be teaching the classes. They could not be reached for comment.

“I hope [the participants] walk with a sense of the way Washington works,” Anthony said. “It’s awesome to study the way things are, but then if you can follow up with an internship … it really makes it come alive for you. That’s, I think, our hope. Also, when students graduate, they’ve got one or hopefully more solid internships under their belt.”

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