By Vanessa Salman ’17

Vanessa Salman outside the White House
Vanessa Salman outside the White House

I vividly remember the December morning I received my acceptance into the 2015 Immersion Week Program, as if it were yesterday. My feet had just touched the snowy Syracuse ground after a 5-hour bus ride from New York City when I received the email from Tracy. As I read the words “CONGRATULATIONS,” I nearly tripped and fell on my face. I guess you could say I was ecstatic, although that is definitely an understatement. I am grateful and appreciative that my love for our nation’s capital shined and landed me a spot on this life-changing trip.

On our trip, we visited some pretty awesome places. Our week included visits at The Washington Post, National Geographic, The National Press Club, The Capitol, just to name a few. It’s still pretty surreal that we got to walk through the newsroom of WaPo where the Watergate Scandal broke. Oh yeah, and the FBI headquarters – totally got to be Derek Morgan for a day. It wasn’t just the places that were fascinating, but the alumni that we met at each location. Each place we went to, the alums recalled their years at Syracuse University and their journeys from the land of Orange to the workforce.

The one thing about D.C. that is so unique is there’s a piece of history on every corner. From the different monuments, to landmarks like Ford’s Theater, to the White House, there is a piece of American history everywhere you go; it’s inescapable (but like, the good kind).

Before going on this trip, I didn’t understand how united, kind, and truly supportive the Syracuse University alumni network is. I mean, we hear about it all the time; SU alumni have awesome jobs, connect with them! But this trip gives you the opportunity to do this in person, as opposed to on digital platforms like LinkedIn.

If you’re a sophomore, I strongly suggest you apply this year. Regardless of what college you’re in or what your interests are, this trip is a helpful learning experience. You will learn and grow so much over the span of just one week from improving on your interpersonal, networking, and team building skills. I saw so much growth in not only myself, but the group I traveled with as well quo.

Oh, and D.C. has AMAZING food. If you’re down to splurge, there’s Founding Farmers, which is an organic restaurant close to the Farragut West metro. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’re in luck because you can vote on the Georgetown Cupcakes vs Baked and Wired debate. I am totally Team Baked and Wired, just saying.

The application for the Immersion trip is open in OrangeLink through November 13. Career Services will host an information session on October 21 in 232 Schine from 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. to answer questions and provide more information on the immersion experience.  For questions or more information, please contact Christina Faulkner at All students who have sophomore standing in credits are encouraged to apply.