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Moving to DC (directly out of college)

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by ektaylor, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. texas_jack

    texas_jack Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, a couple people I know from college DID just land jobs with campaigns, but they've been state-level (governor and state senate).

    Same
     
  2. bkk

    bkk Well-Known Member

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    How long should I expect it to take to find a job? Assuming I work as a floater while blanketing CH with my resume and working my connections in DC to find me informational interviews.

    Its late June and you're fresh out of school. The major recruiting fairs and hiring sprees for college seniors completed months ago. With $2k to your name and needing to move across the country, there's quite a strong possibility you would be broke before you found a decent job.

    Stay in the Bay area, get a job, save some money, and move to DC when your back isn't up against the proverbial employment wall.
     
  3. A.K.A.

    A.K.A. Well-Known Member

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    Jesus, I know exactly what you mean. I go to college with a couple of these types, but I went to HS with a shit ton of them who all went to American University. It really pisses me off to see these young people who are IN LOVE with the SYSTEM. All they care about is rote knowledge of law and the way things work in DC. They all got started early with Model UN and other youth fake government programs. What happened to being young and passionate about REAL things? How can you become an old, boring, bureaucratic sell-out if you're already there at 19?

    It's all about the attraction of sucking at the great governmental teat. Gov't pension lets you retire at 80% of salary after only 20 years work. The rest of us have to toil away until we are dead.

    ektaylor, just say no. Do something productive with your life. Big government must be stopped. If it can't be stopped, it will fail soon enough.

    DC is a bullshit city. Self important and the women are dog ass ugly. If you are ghey, then you're in luck in DC. Lots of homosexuals in DC, some are even elected officials.

    I lived there from the end of '83 to '90, and have travelled there frequently for business. It just sucks balls. The commute from Maryland or Northern VA is tedious. Sure there is the Metro, but you'll have to take a bus if you don't live close to the station in Arlington, Rockville, Bethesda (and those places aren't cheap). I can stay in Georgetown, Downtown, or Alexandria on the company dime, yet I still hate going to the DC area.
     
  4. Connemara

    Connemara Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, a couple people I know from college DID just land jobs with campaigns, but they've been state-level (governor and state senate).
    Yep. But you almost always work closely with the "coordinated campaign" in that situation. So with folks from the House campaign(s) in your state senate district, U.S. Senate campaigns, governor's campaign, etc. There's a mixing of state and federal politics in campaigns.
     
  5. Neo_Version 7

    Neo_Version 7 Well-Known Member

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    I was at the Shady Grove (?) metro early this morning (around 6:30 AM) and these were my initial observations: - Connes everywhere. Tall Connes. Short Connes. Asian Connes. Connes in Crocs. Connes in flip-flops. - For every runway model in a pencil skirt; there were 15 potential Biggest Loser candidates. - A guy was teaching a tree how to spell cat. - There were heaps of Pio's relatives.
     
  6. TheAssman

    TheAssman Member

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    I just moved to DC 3 weeks ago. I'm 20 and a paid intern for an econ thinktank, so my perspective should be somewhat similar to yours.

    Basically the city is perfectly planned and the right size. It's really urban, but with the metro you can get everywhere that's fairly central in under 40 min. Rent is high. I pay 800 splitting a 2 bedroom with a random guy in Rosslyn, VA. Food is also fairly expensive. Everything else is pretty normally priced and most museums are free.

    On the downside, people are not as cool as they are in most places I've been. A lot of boring ass yuppies age 25-35 and 50 year old government workers who look like they've had the soul sucked out of them. Not sure about the bars because I'm a few months short of being allowed in.

    Anyway, whether or not you'll enjoy this place is up to your personality. It's not like SF though. Much more conformist and not stylish. Think guys wearing ugly khakis and oversized short-sleeve button ups on the weekend.

    BTW, if anyone knows of any artsier, hipsterish place in DC let me know. Also, where do 20 year olds hangout who aren't georgetown dicks?

    EDIT: The girls are dogs. I went to the Black Cat on Saturday and would have had to be wasted to touch any of those girls
     
  7. shoreman1782

    shoreman1782 Well-Known Member

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    I think you're being a bit overly optimistic. My friend works in a congressman's office and told me a scary story. Recently, they posted an opening for a legislative correspondent (handles constituent correspondence). This is an entry-level gig in a congressional office, probably pays a little over $30k/yr. Within one day, she received over 200 applications. A LOT of these people had advanced degrees including a boatload of JDs. Yeah, that's right. People with JDs applying for an entry-level job that normally goes to bachelor's candidates.

    This happens with a lot of jobs that get posted places like USAjobs because govt HR is so backward. Job postings are really vague and they bring in tons of people with the wrong qualifications, or who are waaaay overqualified. It can be a real needle in a haystack situation to find a good fit candidate in a pile of 1,000 applications.

    It's all about the attraction of sucking at the great governmental teat. Gov't pension lets you retire at 80% of salary after only 20 years work. The rest of us have to toil away until we are dead.

    The worst part of living in DC is probably cynical cockfags like you, living off the government teat and bitching about it the whole time. Not sure when the last time you looked at government jobs, but the Civil Service Retirement System (which was very generous and entirely unsustainable) has been scrapped and much more "normal" retirement plans are now the norm. The plans I'm familiar with are very similar, less generous even, than I have had in the nonprofit sector.

    My only advice to the OP would be to look beyond just the Hill jobs; there's a lot of government work out there. Consider that some agencies may be hiring in the big picture--HHS, etc.--even if they don't have much open right now. The downside of going through traditional channels (i.e., usajobs) is that the hiring process is molasses slow.
     
  8. swaggerisaliability

    swaggerisaliability Well-Known Member

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    I'm wondering all this as well, since I'm spending the coming fall semester in DC.
     
  9. cotton

    cotton Member

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    - Don't overlook committees. They have staff too.

    - Keep an open mind about working for a member whose politics are opposite yours. It's not unheard of.

    - Assuming your wardrobe is SF-approved, bring all of it with you and rock it every day. This city needs your contributions desperately.

    - Stand on the right side of the escalator. And move to the center of the car.
     
  10. Connemara

    Connemara Well-Known Member

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    I was actually pleasantly surprised by menswear on the Hill. There were a lot of nicely cut suits, pocket squares, decent shoes. Some of those guys were lobbyists (they tend to be flashy to the point of garishness) but a lot of them were staff. It's probably much worse if you're working at OPM or whatever.
     
  11. zeroconspiracy

    zeroconspiracy Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Northern California
    I recently graduated from a "top" university with a 3.8+ GPA. Without any job offers attractive enough to make me stay in the Bay Area, I've decided to move to DC to work on or as close as possible to the Hill. My resume is respectable (3 internships, 1 competitive fellowship, research skills, etc), but it's mainly limited to office/research roles.

    I was curious, none of these internships or fellowships panned out into a job?

    follow-up question, why would you intern for a place you wouldnt want to work for?


    On another note, I roomed with a very qualified Cal student in DC last summer with a GPA similar to yours and pie-in-the-sky aspirations to match. After graduation he is now floundering to find a job in DC, unwilling to look anywhere else. One thing you need to get straight (which i believe many on this thread have tried to convey) is that your '3.8 GPA from a top university' means dick in a place like DC. Everyone comes from a great school, everyone has a great GPA and everyone is ridiculously over qualified. That dog dont hunt. The only hope you have is personal connections - networking. Find someone who will go to bat for you.

    Campaigning was a great suggestion. Bet on a horse and hope they win. The person to speak to (if they are an incumbent) is their chief of staff or communications director. If they are the challenger contact their campaign director. You might have to put in a lot of free labor because due to campaign finance regulation they cannot hire a huge staff (unless they are one hell of a fundraiser, most of which are not). The key is to network - network - network. So even if they lose, you will have a rolodex full of people who know your quality of work who will find a job for you come November.


    PS Coming from California to DC you can kiss Mexican food goodbye, there is no comparison. I did not have one decent meal while I was out there. The food scene is horrible. Also, as someone mentioned earlier, the girls are freakin' dogs, but you should be used to that coming from Berkeley ;-)


    Good luck and God speed
     
  12. Joffrey

    Joffrey Well-Known Member

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    I just moved to DC 3 weeks ago. I'm 20 and a paid intern for an econ thinktank, so my perspective should be somewhat similar to yours. Basically the city is perfectly planned and the right size. It's really urban, but with the metro you can get everywhere that's fairly central in under 40 min. Rent is high. I pay 800 splitting a 2 bedroom with a random guy in Rosslyn, VA. Food is also fairly expensive. Everything else is pretty normally priced and most museums are free. On the downside, people are not as cool as they are in most places I've been. A lot of boring ass yuppies age 25-35 and 50 year old government workers who look like they've had the soul sucked out of them. Not sure about the bars because I'm a few months short of being allowed in. Anyway, whether or not you'll enjoy this place is up to your personality. It's not like SF though. Much more conformist and not stylish. Think guys wearing ugly khakis and oversized short-sleeve button ups on the weekend. BTW, if anyone knows of any artsier, hipsterish place in DC let me know. Also, where do 20 year olds hangout who aren't georgetown dicks? EDIT: The girls are dogs. I went to the Black Cat on Saturday and would have had to be wasted to touch any of those girls
    Turn 21, and your experience in DC will be a ton different. On the other hand, maybe not. Hipster spots in DC are Columbia Heights - tons of house parties there; go to Red Derby in Petworth/Col Heights area. But to have proper fun in this city, you need to be over 21.
     
  13. Invicta

    Invicta Well-Known Member

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    Dec 16, 2008
    Location:
    On High
    Its late June and you're fresh out of school. The major recruiting fairs and hiring sprees for college seniors completed months ago. With $2k to your name and needing to move across the country, there's quite a strong possibility you would be broke before you found a decent job.

    Stay in the Bay area, get a job, save some money, and move to DC when your back isn't up against the proverbial employment wall.


    This is the best advice posted so far.

    Also, why is everyone talking smack about DC women for? Y'all are clearly going to the wrong places/have the ghey.
     
  14. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Well-Known Member

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    My only advice to the OP would be to look beyond just the Hill jobs; there's a lot of government work out there. Consider that some agencies may be hiring in the big picture--HHS, etc.--even if they don't have much open right now. The downside of going through traditional channels (i.e., usajobs) is that the hiring process is molasses slow.

    - Don't overlook committees. They have staff too.

    - Keep an open mind about working for a member whose politics are opposite yours. It's not unheard of.

    This is good advice. Look at think tanks and nonprofits in your area of interest as well.

    DC is a bullshit city. Self important and the women are dog ass ugly. If you are ghey, then you're in luck in DC. Lots of homosexuals in DC, some are even elected officials.

    Also, as someone mentioned earlier, the girls are freakin' dogs, but you should be used to that coming from Berkeley ;-)

    Also, why is everyone talking smack about DC women for? Y'all are clearly going to the wrong places/have the ghey.
    What Invicta said. Some of you clearly have the SF "sharp knees" mentality or are not going out in the right places. There aren't a lot of 9s and 10s walking around like in NYC, LA, or Miami, but there are plenty of girls in the 7-8 girlfriend range. And they're going to be a helluva smarter than the girls in the aforementioned cities.
     
  15. DNW

    DNW Well-Known Member

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    Recession, Baby

    What Invicta said. Some of you clearly have the SF "sharp knees" mentality or are not going out in the right places. There aren't a lot of 9s and 10s walking around like in NYC, LA, or Miami, but there are plenty of girls in the 7-8 girlfriend range. And they're going to be a helluva smarter than the girls in the aforementioned cities.


    +1. DC girls in the Spring/Summer are [​IMG].
     
  16. celery

    celery Well-Known Member

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    How much money will I need to make the move from California? This is my main issue, I have about two thousand dollars to my name and can not expect any help from parents, relatives, etc.
    How long should I expect it to take to find a job? Assuming I work as a floater while blanketing CH with my resume and working my connections in DC to find me informational interviews.


    2k only? How are you going to pay rent or buy food in a few months time if you don't land a job?

    To get a job in the present economic climate, I'd wager it will be 6 months - 1 year to get a job (possibly longer). You have to factor in processing time for your applications, then interview process.
     
  17. Connemara

    Connemara Well-Known Member

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    +1. DC girls in the Spring/Summer are [​IMG].
    +1, who are these idiots saying they're ugly? Ever go to M St. in Georgetown on a nice summer day? You'll have a bonar in 30 seconds.
     
  18. sigma

    sigma Well-Known Member

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    Are there any hot asian chicks in DC?
     
  19. GQgeek

    GQgeek Well-Known Member

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    2k only? How are you going to pay rent or buy food in a few months time if you don't land a job?

    To get a job in the present economic climate, I'd wager it will be 6 months - 1 year to get a job (possibly longer). You have to factor in processing time for your applications, then interview process.


    Or two weeks, if you're awesome like me. [​IMG]

    My brother moved to vancouver and got a job in a couple weeks too. It's construction, and he got it through a contact, but still... How long it will take depends on a lot of variables.

    Before I moved, I made sure I had enough cash for the long haul if the job search went badly. I'd definitely want a minimum of 4-6 months in the bank to make the move. That said, there was no way I was gonna take a shitty job. If you are willing to do anything for money, live in a shitty apartment with roommates, and eat noodles, then go with less. My brother moved to vancouver with $72, his backpack, a new econ degree, and 35k in debt. [​IMG] I thought it was reckless but he had a place to stay for a few weeks and it worked out for him in the end. It just as easily could have been a disaster though.
     
  20. Automated Response

    Automated Response Well-Known Member

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    here, there.
    Some of you clearly have the SF "sharp knees" mentality or are not going out in the right places. There aren't a lot of 9s and 10s walking around like in NYC, LA, or Miami, but there are plenty of girls in the 7-8 girlfriend range. And they're going to be a helluva smarter than the girls in the aforementioned cities.
    This nails it. New York is home to models and actresses, L.A. is home to models, actresses and porn starlets, and Miami is home to porn starlets and models. D.C. is home to girls with 'real' jobs. So you do see more 'real' people. But despite the whole "D.C.: L.A. for ugly people" thing, there are definitely a lot of attractive women. Trust me on this. I live in New England for school now, and D.C. smokes that shit. It's no San Diego, etc. where all of the chicks are in bikini shape all year, but there are plenty of excellent looking women. Hint: you will not find them in some shitty Adam's Morgan bar at 2 a.m. There is also less suave competition for the ladies in D.C. versus a place like NYC or L.A, so a dapper dude can clean up in this city.
    PS Coming from California to DC... I did not have one decent meal while I was out there. The food scene is horrible.
    Another SF princess mentality. Places like NYC and the Bay are world renowned for the grub. That doesn't mean that the residents of other major cities are eating out of dumpsters. The food in D.C. is very solid. Pay attention to Yelp and Washingtonian's Best Restaurants list, etc. and you can find a lot of good stuff.
     

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