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Alumni Roundtable Offers TFAS Students Career Guidance


For TFAS students, this summer has been full of countless exciting possibilities to obtain professional experience through internships, coursework, guest lectures and memorable excursions throughout the Washington, D.C., area. What better way to network than with those who have already had the chance to take advantage of all these TFAS opportunities?  

The connections I built while I was at TFAS are a direct line to where I am now.” – Carson Fort ’18 

On July 12, more than 50 accomplished alumni returned to TFAS to share their networking advice, career guidance and experiences during the TFAS Alumni Roundtable. During the dinner, alumni shared one piece of advice to current TFAS students. Most advice centered around things they wish they had known when they were younger and how to make the most of their remaining time at TFAS and in Washington, D.C. 

TFAS alumna Emily Turek ’18, PPF ’21, shares advice with students.

Edgar Velasco ’18 participated in the TFAS Business + Government Relations program track and currently works as a consultant at Deloitte Consulting. He shared some insightful advice with the students.

“Never feel bad because you don’t have it all figured out at the moment,” he said. “This is an ongoing path and no one really has it fully figured out at any point – you continue to discover interests, you continue to discover yourself in the process.” 

Sarah Markley ’16 participated in the International Affairs program track and currently works at the House Foreign Affairs Committee as a professional staff member. She shared some words of encouragement to students, as well as how to best prepare for their future careers.

“Do the job that you want before you have it,” she said. “If you can prove that you’re capable of doing the tasks that you would like to be hired into right off the bat or down the line, that makes their [hiring managers] job that much easier.”

Many alumni said that they would not be where they are today without the support and opportunities that TFAS provided for them to succeed both professionally and personally. 

Students listen as alumnus Mike Jayne ’07, PPF ’13, shares his expertise on law careers in Washington.

Rebecca Lind ’18 also participated in TFAS’s International Affairs program four years ago. She currently works at the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council, which is where she interned during her time as a TFAS student. She reflected on her time at TFAS and the ways it impacted her career path.

“I’m really thankful to TFAS for the opportunities that it afforded me to work in something super interesting and to do valuable work,” she said.

Following the event, students had the opportunity to connect one-on-one with alumni who share common interests and career paths.     

Mary Black ’22 is a participant in the International Affairs track in TFAS’s D.C. Academic Internship Program. As a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy, she enjoyed hearing from alumni who also come from a military background.

“[At TFAS] there are so many different careers, backgrounds and people who have so many different things going on – that kind of networking you don’t really have inside the military,” she said.  

The networking and connections built at TFAS aren’t only valuable for current students – TFAS alumni also benefit from these relationships throughout their professional careers.

TFAS students celebrate connecting with alumni.

Carson Fort ’18 is employed by Stateside Associates and several of his colleagues are TFAS alumni. He explained that the relationships he developed while attending TFAS enabled him to move forward into the career he has now.

“The connections I built while I was at TFAS are a direct line to where I am now,” he said.

TFAS is grateful to the generous alumni who volunteer for occasions like these and give back to the next generation of courageous leaders. TFAS programs would not be possible without their ongoing support!


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