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Diplomatic Service on the Horizon

Elizabeth Williams credits Cornerstone DC for her success at American University.

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Elizabeth Williams was delighted to receive her invitation to participate in Cornerstone DC program because it gave her the rare opportunity to intern as a first-year student where she gained a competitive edge over her peers.

Williams interned at the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST), which is onsite at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia. Her internship experience solidified her interest in international studies, and she majored in International Studies and minored in International Business.

During her internship, Williams interviewed and networked with diplomats, wrote and published articles, and attended events at the State Department (one of which was led by presidential nominee Hillary Clinton). Her internship immersed her in the field she dreamed of having a career. Williams loved her internship at Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training so much that she interned there again during her sophomore year!

The program also includes classroom lectures and weekly on-site visits to museums, organizations, and agencies across DC. Its structure provided Williams with a one-on-one connection with both professors and students.

Williams attended a very small high school, with only 54 students in her graduating class. She admitted that she was nervous to enter college in a big city, but the Mentorship Program helped her transition. With the 16-1 student-professor ratio, the Mentorship Program provided Williams with the personal connection she was used to having in her classrooms.

"During my first semester, I bonded with professors and really delved into my classes," Williams said. "I also built a close group of friends, which was great after leaving my hometown for college."

Note: The Cornerstone DC program developed from the Mentorship program.