The Lutheran College Washington Program is an opportunity for students here at Roanoke College to enter the sphere of the political world in a fully active way, and this opportunity was something Reed Walter felt she couldn’t pass up on at this critical time in her life.
Reed Walter is a junior here at Roanoke, and is as involved in as much as a student can be. Academically, she is a political science and communications double major. Pairing two majors together, she added that she believes communications is vital for any job she takes on in the future. Political Science seems like the obvious choice for any aspirations to work in D.C, but regarding Communications Walter said, “we are the generation that has lost the art of communicating due to the advancements of social media, and I don’t want to feed into that distant figment, I’d rather be someone who can help that skill survive.” Aside from academics, she is a member of the Roanoke Maroons Women’s Lacrosse team, is a building ops manager in the Colket Center, and also just took on her most recent task as SGA Vice President. From the surface it appears she has no time on her hands, but this is exactly how she wants her college experience to be. Walter said, “I felt like I wasn’t making the best of my college experience, and I was feeding into settling for average. I knew that needed to change and I’m so glad my mindset changed.” This mindset is ultimately what led her to pursuing a semester abroad in the heart of the political world – Washington, D.C.
After an interview process, Walter was awarded an internship with a defense contractor for the Foreign Military Sales Department. Having such a busy schedule at Roanoke certainly prepared her for this “real world” experience. Her workday began at 7:30 a.m. and, if she was lucky, it ended around 6 p.m. Some days consisted of organizing files into binders for her boss, and other days she was busy selling nuclear weaponry to foreign countries. Walter said, “So, I sold nuclear torpedoes to foreign nationals. Pretty cool, I know.” Just like any workforce, there are days that are as interesting as that, and there are dull days like assorting files into binders. Despite that, Reed always had a smile on her face at work and that didn’t go unnoticed by her fellow colleagues. Because of this brightened personality around work everyday, Walter was awarded the Dean Spirit Award because of her diplomatic tendencies.
Out of the eight interns in the department, they made sure to declare Walter as their top intern. Having been so impressed with her work and the impact she had on the people around her, the department invited her to return in the summer to work again. It is safe to assume that this is just the first of many experiences to come for Reed in the D.C area. Not to mention, it is also self evident Walter is on a path to becoming the person she set out to be, if she hasn’t solidified that already. Reed Walter strongly encourages all students across the Public Affairs majors to take full advantage of the semester offered in D.C. Whether you are majoring in International Relations, Criminal Justice, or Political Science, they all share a similar essence in their roots. All three of these majors aim to make the world a better place, which is why we pursue these career paths in the first place, right?