2015 Career Discovery Tour
Spring Break 2015: Washington D.C.

Group of students posing in front of Washington monument

The inaugural Nelson Spring Break Career Discovery Tour offered undergraduates an alternative spring break experience that combined career exploration, professional networking opportunities, and cultural enrichment. A small group of eight undergraduate students from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies was selected from a competitive pool of applicants for an exciting trip to Washington, D.C. The group left from Madison on Sunday, March 29, 2015 and returned on Thursday, April 2, 2015.

Nelson Institute alumni living and working in the Washington D.C. area at a number of different organizations served as career hosts, offering a first-hand look at a variety of careers in government, non-profit organizations, and businesses. Career hosts described their professional roles and the paths they took to get there. Other activities included social networking events, a visit to Senator Tammy Baldwin's office, and group excursions to cultural and educational sites. Nelson Institute staff including Career and Academic Advisor, Peter Locascio and Director, Paul Robbins served as chaperones.

The cost to the students to attend the Career Discovery Tour was $600. This fee covered airfare and a small portion of the hotel costs. The Nelson Institute Director's Office covered the cost of four nights of lodging at the Marriott Metro Center in downtown Washington, D.C., plus a stipend to cover all meals and intra-city transportation. Scholarship support was available for students with demonstrated financial need.

As part of the pre-trip planning, students agreed to summarize and communicate their experiences following the tour. The students decided on and planned this activity. Some ideas included a roundtable or panel discussion, a website, a presentation, or another project. Ultimately, the students decided to make this website so that their experience could be shared with the entire Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies' community including students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Dresen.