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Alumni Roundtable Events: Advice And TFAS Stories


This summer successful TFAS alumni in the D.C. area met with current students to share perspective, career advice and TFAS stories at Alumni Roundtable events. The five roundtables took place throughout July, with more than 300 students in attendance.

Alumnus Patrick McCarthy (IPJ 04), of Booz Allen Hamilton, told current students that TFAS helped him develop confidence and taught him how to build the network that led to his professional success. McCarthy said the TFAS experience was foundational in shaping his career.

“I feel that it is important to share my experiences now (going on 10 years) because I think the experience that TFAS brings are translatable across time,” McCarthy said. “The networking, the experience, the internships – I still refer back to my economics and public policy classes.”

Alumna Nicole Franceschini (ICPES 09) said the people she met and the TFAS Mentor Program made her TFAS experience unforgettable.

“The TFAS Mentor Program was the best thing that I participated in during TFAS,” Francescini said. “My mentor taught me how to navigate the landscape of D.C., which is different than any other place in the country. She gave me guidance on whether to look for jobs or attend graduate school to work in public policy in D.C.”

Students especially enjoyed interacting with alumni at the events.

“I was interested to hear what these alumni did after TFAS, because a lot of us have the same interests,” said current student Chris Krolak (IEIA 14).

“It was helpful to hear their recommendations, what they didn’t do and where they made mistakes. Their advice can help us with our next steps,” said studentMorgan Shaw (IEIA 14).

Enjoy some of the insightful advice that alumni shared with current TFAS students at Alumni Roundtable events below:

    • Will Sturm (ICPES 11) of ICF International: “Meet as many people as you can, because you never know what door will open.”
    • Josh Weed (ICPES 00): “Meet people and maintain contact with your internship supervisor. You should have business cards and a resume.”
    • Patrick McCarthy (IPJ 04) of Booz Allen Hamilton: “Don’t be shy. Ask questions at networking events such as this. Ask questions to the cab drivers about the city or at a museum. Experience all that the TFAS program provides.”
    • Nicole Francescini (ICPES 09): “Never eat alone. Relationships are the most important currency that you have. Everyone who comes into your life, comes in for a reason and if you never eat alone you are never without friends.”
    • Karen Czarnecki (ICPES 88): “If you have informational interviews, ask that person for at least two more references. Try to follow up with those contacts within the next few days.”
    • Chris Ullman (ICPES Board of Visitors, TFAS Mentor): “You want to be in IC, not a DIC. IC means Instill Confidence. DIC means Does not Instill Confidence. Bottom line is this, no matter where you are, if you are an intern or you are applying for a job or at your job, everything that you do should be focused on instilling confidence in the people who are employing you, working with you, interviewing you, etc.”

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