Father’s Day Special: Newest Fulbright Scholar Recounts Road Trip With Dad, DC Internship


Scott Wofford and his dad near San Diego

Couch-Surfing in California with Dad

As a college graduation gift, my dad took me on a trip up the California coastline from San Diego to San Francisco.  But instead of staying in hotels, we decided (AKA I convinced dad) to find lodging using the website, CouchSurfing.com, a “volunteer-based worldwide network connecting travelers with locals, who offer free accommodation.”  So you think it sounds risky?  Here’s how it worked out for us:

We flew into San Diego on a sunny Friday afternoon and explored the city on bikes until Dan, our San Diego host got home that evening.  According to his Couch-Surfing profile, Dan was a 61-year-old social entrepreneur and Harvard Law grad whose current mission was landmine removal in Afghanistan.  We were surprised when we arrived at his humble home at our scheduled meeting time, but Dan was nowhere to be found.  After three hours we were getting worried.  Finally, Dan called and we had a place to sleep, whew!  He turned out to be a generous host and an incredibly interesting guy, one of several great hosts we met in the LA and Bay Area.

Interning at Ketchum in Washington, D.C.

For the past four months, I interned full-time at a global public relations agency named Ketchum in their DC office.  I worked in the Public Affairs department to “help companies, associations, foundations and sovereign governments…manage the dialogue between society, public policy and politics from the local to the international level.”  It was a fast-paced, high-pressure, and collaborative work environment and I learned to manage projects from multiple supervisors and prioritize tasks under tight deadlines.  Every morning, I would arrive at 7:30 a.m. to compile and summarize news.  In the afternoons, I would gather contact information of journalists, help plan an event or research a new business opportunity.  I recorded every 15 minutes of my time to be billed to clients and consequently learned to be very productive and organized.

Upcoming Fulbright in Mexico City

In August, I will move to Mexico City for 10 months to participate in a Fulbright Scholarship.   The award is a program of competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange, run by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. During the day I will be working full-time for a Mexican company or NGO and at night I will be taking graduate-level business classes.  It feels great to have something exciting lined up after several months of stressful uncertainty following my college graduation.

Scott Wofford is a 2010 PR graduate of the University of Tennessee.  He currently lives in Washington, D.C. and works for the Center for Development Communication.  In August, Scott will move to Mexico City for 10 months as a Fulbright Scholar.  This post is based on Scott’s blog about his internship at Ketchum, upcoming Mexico experience and his all-important trip up the California coast with his dad.  Earlier this year, Scott wrote a Culpwrit guest post about new expectations of college students and how to meet them. 

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