Hamilton’s Spring 2016 Program in Washington group visited the White House’s Executive Office Building on March 2 for a meet and greet with alumni on President Obama’s staff, ahead of the group’s upcoming West Wing tours scheduled from March 7 to 11.
William Rusche ’13 and Andrew Taub ’12 shared advice and tips with the 16 program participants on a wide range of topics, from how to make the most of their remaining time at Hamilton, to how to tackle life after graduation, and the importance of networking and extracurricular activities.
“Critical thinking and communication skills have helped me tremendously in transitioning from Hamilton to the real-world,” commented Rusche. He added that one of the key advantages Hamilton grants to its students is a focus on strong writing skills – a concentration that often sets Hamilton grads apart from the rest of the flock during job-application season.
However, despite the academic advantages Hamilton provides, Rusche claimed that the best advice he could give to current undergrads is to focus whenever possible on pursuing individual passions, both in and out of the classroom. “Don't get too tied up in grades and homework,” he said. “Do well, but also devote energy and time to engaging with the college and your peers. Go to events, go to club meetings, go to the pub. You can learn as much from the community as you can in the classroom.”
That sentiment was echoed by Taub, who fondly remembers his time spent at Hamilton making new friends, discovering new activities, and taking advantage of the area that makes Hamilton so special.
Most of all, however, Rusche told students to avoid undue stress related to their post-graduate plans. “It's ok not to have your exact path after graduation mapped out,” he said, adding that simply the act of reaching out to an alumni, or putting in that first job application, can be enough to jump start one’s future. “Whether it's now or the morning after graduation, start by taking that first step. Hamilton's prepared you well, and you'll figure out what comes next.”
The Hamilton D.C. program will enjoy full West Wing tours in the coming weeks, and are visiting Washington’s Newseum, the nation’s largest museum of media and press-related historical artifacts and exhibits.