Following 15 weeks of interning in the nation’s capital and studying economics with renowned TFAS faculty, 16 young leaders graduated into the TFAS Alumni Network on May 3.
During the ceremony, TFAS student Emine Mutlu (CSS 18), a rising senior at Maine Maritime University, recapped her TFAS student experience by sharing her Capital Semester testimony. Mutlu said that because she was coming from a small town in Maine, attending the TFAS program in Washington, D.C. was the perfect opportunity to grow and challenge herself.
“I knew that I wanted to push myself in both my academics and my career before I graduated from college, and I found that opportunity in TFAS,” Mutlu said.
She reflected on her time in the TFAS classroom and expressed her gratitude to the TFAS professors who provided a unique and engaging learning environment as the class tackled new ideas and economic issues facing the world.
“Thank you for taking the time to pass on your knowledge and experiences from the world,” Mutlu said to the professors. “It was truly a pleasure to learn from you all.”
Outside of the TFAS classroom, Mutlu was fortunate to be awarded two internship opportunities during her time in Washington. She split her internship time between the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration and the Office of U.S. Senator Susan Collins. In addition to their internships and coursework, the TFAS class participated in tours, site briefings, professional development, networking and leadership training from the countless TFAS alumni and volunteers who lend their time to current TFAS students each semester and summer.
Mutlu shared her experience meeting TFAS volunteer and alumnus Jonathan Lozier (IBGA 08) of Stateside Associates when he hosted students at his office for a briefing this semester. She recalled one piece of advice that he shared: “If you are not uncomfortable, you are not learning.” She applied this to her TFAS experience and shared that many times throughout the semester, she and her classmates were brought outside of their comfort zones.
“It allowed us to grow, and everyone here came through it stronger and more assured than before,” Mutlu said. “Coming to D.C. gave us a chance to build our own networks, gain relevant work experience and see what opportunities are out there for us in the next chapter of our lives.”
Longtime TFAS volunteer and board of visitors member, Jim Forbes, shared his five life skills as tips for success to the TFAS students. Through these tips, he reflected on the turning points in life that led him to where he is today.
- “Surround yourselves with positive people.”
- “We need to believe in something higher than ourselves.”
- “Always have a Plan B.”
- “Increase your capacities and always challenge yourselves. I love it when interns come into my office and say ‘What else can I do?’”
- “Have determination. In whatever situation you put yourself, even if you have to quit it, give it 100 percent.”
He then encouraged the class and congratulated them for their accomplishments in joining the TFAS Alumni Network.
“I’ve loved TFAS ever since I’ve been involved,” Forbes said. I’ve seen lives changed through my time as a mentor, and I’m sure this has been a blessing for you to be a part of this program – you’re making friends that you’ll have the rest of your lives.”
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR SPRING 2018 STUDENT AWARD WINNERS:
Jon Kowalik, Academic Excellence in International Economic Policy
Georgia Hicks, Academic Excellence in Constitutional Studies
Taylor Tummons, Academic Excellence in Media Studies
Joseph Janey, Academic Excellence in Public Policy
Ingrid Radulescu, Outstanding Student Award
To view photos from the semester, please visit @TFASorg on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.