Hilltop on the Hill, 2013 Inauguration

Twenty-one communication studies and journalism students are in Washington, D.C., in January 2013 as part of the Meadows School of the Arts’ Hilltop on the Hill program. In addition to reporting on Inaugural events, the students will visit media and government sites, and meet with political communicators, journalists and SMU alumni. The trip is led by Rita Kirk, professor of communication studies; Daniel Schill, assistant professor of communication studies, and Carolyn Barta, journalism professor. Endowed by the Bauer Foundation, the Hilltop on the Hill program also takes students studying political communication to political party conventions and the G8 Economic Summit.

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Until next time, D.C.

An update from An, a junior communication studies and Spanish major: 

Well, it’s been a crazy four days in D.C., with little sleep, food, and rest, but I’m officially convinced that I’m going to move here after graduation. It’s exhilarating to be in a city where there are so many young people who are all extremely intelligent and driven. There is a sort of contagiousness to the fast-paced, career-driven lifestyle in this city.

Even though everyone works really hard and long hours, it seems like at the end of the day, it’s all worth it. And it is. If the price for a fulfilling career in public service and the camaraderie of D.C. professionals is some bitter cold days and long hours, I’m in.

Speaking of bitter cold, it was freezing. Like wear three pairs of pants and five shirts kind of freezing. I have never used foot warmers, but I had to this week. And then I look over at Dr. Schill, and he is wearing a regular old suit with no overcoat. I digress.

There’s something about this city that just draws you in. One SMU alum I spoke to this week compared D.C. “to a really big high school” – there is a strong sense of community because the city is chock full of ambitious young professionals rising up the ranks to successful positions in all fields. As a young aspiring lawyer, I see these people who are just five years older than me in very respected executive positions, and I can’t help but think that will be me in a short five years.

So for all of you driven, passionate folk who seek a meritocracy of young professionals and can handle a few days of bitter cold, come to D.C. and catch the “Potomac Fever.”

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