Virginia Davis ’25 spent the spring 2023 semester living and learning in the Big Apple through Hamilton’s New York City Program. The psychology and public policy double major shares here some of her favorite adventures and what she learned about city life, her interests, and herself.

Virginia Davis ’25 Hometown: San Marcos, Texas Virginia Davis ’25
When I started college, I didn’t understand how the professional world worked. I didn’t realize internships and résumés and networking were such an integral part of establishing yourself professionally, especially in today’s world.

During the summer before my sophomore year, I realized I was ready to embrace different opportunities for growth than campus provided, and stumbled upon the New York City Program on Hamilton’s website. Originally, studying abroad my sophomore year wasn’t part of my plan, but the topic planned for the program's spring semester, Labor, Immigration, and Reform in New York City History, was something I felt I couldn’t pass up.

Considering my long-term career goal of going into the non-profit sector, I recognized the program was a great opportunity to get my foot in the door while also living in a city different from anything I’d ever experienced before. I’ve always been interested in visiting New York, but I never expected to find myself living there, and funny enough it ended up being the best decision I’ve ever made. 

The Faculty Connection

Maurice Isserman, Publius Virgilius Rogers Professor of American History
Director of Hamilton in New York, Spring ’23

As I reflect on my time taking part in the New York City Program, my favorite part of the semester was how close I got with other Hamilton students and our faculty director. Choosing my favorite part was not easy because even though I struggled at times, this semester was one of the best experiences of my life. 

Since the program is roughly 15 people, it is so easy to connect with everyone. I got close with all of my roommates, made friends I will keep in touch with even after the program, but also got close to our professor, [Professor of American History] Maurice Isserman. The beauty of the program is that we all spend so much time together that we get to know each other outside academics. Isserman introduced us to his daughter and wife, and to many of his friends and professional acquaintances who he thought would add value to our experience by sharing their expertise and insights with us. They typically came to the director's apartment and shared our weekly meal with us. This was something I will never forget, and all of it was thanks to Professor Isserman.

Similar to life on campus, becoming close with your professor is incredibly easy with small class sizes, but on this program it becomes even easier. Isserman made it a point to get to know each of us personally rather than just academically. Because of that, even though I know I will never take another history class, I still plan to keep in touch with him. 

*Virginia’s internship was facilitated by Sara Weinstein ’02, partner at WCPG, who has generously provided opportunities to more than 20 NYC Program participants, as well as Hamilton students and recent graduates for summer internships and entry-level positions.

Hamilton in New York City

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