Monumental Career Journeys Start Here


Over the past 45 years, The Washington Center (TWC) has perfected the science of providing students with life-changing opportunities to put their classroom learning into real-world practice. Thanks to a powerful new assessment, we are giving our students another valuable tool that will help inform their next professional steps. Produced at the end of each semester, the Career Readiness Report outlines each student’s strengths and improvement areas. The report also indicates how each student stacks up against the peers they will compete with for their first job.

In 2019, we partnered with SkillSurvey, a company that works with human resources departments and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), to implement the Career Readiness Report. The tool uses 360-degree evaluations from the student, their supervisor, and their colleagues to measure expertise in eight competencies developed by NACE:

  • global and intercultural fluency
  • teamwork
  • critical thinking and problem solving
  • oral and written communication
  • digital technology
  • leadership
  • professionalism and work ethic
  • career management

Data Drives Student Growth―And Success


TWC has always prioritized reflection for our students at the end of each academic internship program, and the Career Readiness Report enables them to do so in a specific, data-driven way. Students are affirmed in knowing where their expertise lies. They also see clearly in which areas they need to improve when compared with more than 30,000 interns from across the country. This knowledge can help them when they return to their campuses after their internships. They will be able to choose courses and experiences that address their need areas, ensuring they will become competitive candidates for jobs after graduation.

The Career Readiness Report provides important knowledge for TWC, too. This data is crucial in helping us understand how we can help our students become better versions of themselves before, during, and after their internships. For example, data from our first year of the Career Readiness Report showed that our students rate highly in the global and intercultural fluency competency as well as teamwork. These are two areas of expertise we focus on through our residential life program and career readiness curriculum.

An area where the SkillSurvey data shows our students can improve is oral and written communication. We are looking to place more emphasis on that competency in both our arrival process and career readiness programming. Our unique, high-touch approach to student engagement enables us to quickly act on this data in a way that is difficult to achieve in other settings.

95%

of TWC site partners were satisfied or very satisfied with their interns


TWC Internship Site Survey

Interns and employers both reported that TWC students' top strength was the global and intercultural fluency behavior: Treating other people, including those of different backgrounds, beliefs, and gender, with fairness and respect


SkillsSurvey 2019

TWC students outperformed the national pool of interns and full-time job candidates in SkillSurvey's assessment of essential career readiness metrics


SkillsSurvey 2019

94%

of internship sites would work with their TWC intern again in the future


TWC Internship Site Survey

What Skills Will Matter in a Post-Pandemic World?


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work and, in turn, the way our students complete their internships. Remote internships were very rare in the United States before they became a necessity in 2020. They are likely to remain prevalent even after the world returns to a “new normal.” At first, many thought that remote internships would be similar to the in-person variety. At TWC, we quickly learned that we had to adapt. Professionalism looks completely different through Zoom’s lens. Workers must engage in more frequent, active communication with colleagues to compensate for the face-to-face interaction common in an office environment. At the same time, the reexamination of race relations that began in the United States in the early summer of 2020 is having a tangible impact on the workplace. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are becoming significant priorities for companies in new and impactful ways.

The ability to work remotely will need to be addressed within the competencies, but how it will be measured remains to be seen. Which professional behaviors will remain relevant to employers, which will become less important, and which new skills will need to be considered? Diversity, equity, and inclusion, too, will see a similar fate. How can such expertise be taught and assessed? These are important questions, and TWC is playing a role in helping to answer them. Our data will contribute to SkillSurvey’s adaptation of the Career Readiness Report’s instruments to account for these significant changes.

Regardless of the way future workplaces look and feel, our students will need to recognize their strengths and address their areas of opportunity when applying for their first jobs. They must clearly articulate how they have applied what they learned in the classroom to tangible projects in the professional realm. A rich TWC experience―bolstered by the data of the Career Readiness Report―can help our students prepare most successfully for the post-pandemic job market.

91%

of site partners would consider hiring their TWC intern full-time if a position became available


TWC Internship Site Survey

Top-rated Career Readiness Ability

Collaborating with people from different backgrounds


SkillsSurvey 2019

TWC students were rated higher than the national average by their employers in every NACE competency


SkillsSurvey 2019

Skills Survey 2019 End of Semester Report

TWC students’ three most developed competencies were:

  • global and intercultural fluency
  • teamwork
  • digital technology

SkillsSurvey 2019