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First-Year Student Milla Kessener Becomes a DC Insider

Milla Kessener credits Cornerstone DC for setting her apart from her peers by helping land an internship at BBC's Beyond 100 Days show.

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Between living alone for the first time and navigating the unfamiliarity of college-level study, it’s not often that freshmen have the support or resources to pair academics with an internship. However, for a select pool of freshmen like Milla, first-semester students are given the chance to do just that, by enrolling in Cornerstone DC.

Milla always considered herself a diligent worker, but she credits much of her current success to Cornerstone DC. The program trained her in the process of resume and cover letter writing, the internship search, interviewing, and how to manage office life!

Unlike a typical first year student at American University, Milla's first semester began with a hands-on academic seminar coupled with an internship. Milla landed an internship at BBC where she assisted the backstage team of Kathy Kay’s Beyond 100 Days Show, visited the Capitol Building and to the Department of State, and collected information at the National Archives for the show.

Fall 2017 Mentorship Program students gather at Kay Spiritual Life Center at American University for student orientation.

Her internship with BBC bolstered the materials of her “Politics in the US” class, taught by Dr. Christian Maisch. Originally from Paris, France, Milla had never studied the US political system through a critical lens, and she emphasizes that her professors were always available to help her build her resumé, proofread her cover letters and emails, and offer support in navigating the newness of college life.


Milla's Politics in the U.S. class at American University.

Milla was serious when she said she planned to have an internship every semester. She already has another internship completed at the Embassy of Ecuador.

“I was looking to perfect my Spanish-speaking skills. Interning there immersed me into Ecuadorian culture, but also gave me a closer look at how diplomatic issues are taken care of within an embassy,” Milla said.

Milla hopes to continue applying her new skills to jobs and internships in the future, and she owes much of her success to her first semester at AU.

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