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Director's Message



Dear Cornell Student:

"The CIW program is the last remaining uncharted Cornell frontier. I say that because there are great work study opportunities, but nothing that compares to the caliber available in Washington and nothing that compares to the synthesis of study coupled with professional work experience."

That quote comes from an alumnus of Cornell in Washington. As the program’s Director, I very much appreciate the enthusiasm of our former students. That quote is a good example of what they say.

Each semester fifty or so Cornell undergraduates come to Washington for an “out of Ithaca” experience. That experience includes working as an intern, taking small classes with talented teachers, and getting to know one of the world’s most interesting cities. Most students come away saying things like the above –-a great time in a great place.

Why not join us? If you do, you will be able to get “real world” experience working in a public agency or a private firm. Over the years, students have worked in places like:

  • Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)
  • Merrill Lynch: Private Client Group
  • Chamber of Commerce: Business Information and Development
  • U.S. Department of Justice: Civil Rights Division
  • Center for Disease Control
  • Amnesty International: Human Rights Education
  • Brookings Institution: Foreign Policy Studies Program
  • The Federal Reserve Board
  • Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

And those are just examples. You may find something more interesting. Not only can such an experience help you refine your career goals, but it can quite possibly lead to letters of recommendation, summer jobs, and even a job after graduation.

In addition to this “real world” experience, you will be able to take courses at the Cornell University Wolpe Center. The courses are simply first rate. This is a Cornell program, and we who teach in it are proud to maintain the level of excellence that you are accustomed to in Ithaca. Moreover, classes are small, and there is plenty of opportunity to bring Washington into the classroom. That can mean everything from invited speakers, to class trips around town to lively discussions about today’s headlines. And incidentally, Cornell in Washington can be a great place to discover the topic of an honors thesis.

Interested? I hope you will consider applying for Cornell in Washington. You can find more information on this website and at our Information Meeting (held on campus each semester), where you can talk to me, other CIW staff, and former CIW students. And, come see me in my campus office, M101 McGraw Hall. I'd be delighted to talk with you.

See you in DC!


Robert Hutchens
Director, Cornell in Washington