Tell us about yourself.
My name is Beeta Christine Rafiekian and I am a proud Washington Mentorship Program (WMP) alumna! After my WMP experience, I attended American University's Schools of Public Affairs and International Service.
Orange County, CA and Potomac, MD
Santa Margarita Catholic High School, CA
Why did you choose to come to DC?
I came to DC because I knew coming here would open the doors for a lot of opportunities, especially once I found out I had been accepted into the Washington Mentorship Program.
Why did you choose to attend the Washington Mentorship Program?
The program is like nothing I had ever heard of before, and I thought it would be such an amazing experience to get right in the internship world as a first-year undergraduate.
What was your major at AU?
Law and Society/ International Studies
What is your passion?
To become a lawyer
To practice international law
Where was your WMP internship? What did you do there?
I interned at the Office of Legislative Counsel at the Department of Defense (DoD). I did mostly administrative work, but was also able to assist in the preparation of documents for a Congressional subpoena.
What did you do next?
After WMP, I continued interning at the DoD for the rest of the school year. I spent the next year and a half interning at the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce, the White House, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (consecutively). In the spring of my sophomore year, I returned to Tenley Campus to participate in the Washington Semester Program's International Law and Organizations Seminar, during which I was able to spend two and a half weeks traveling across Western Europe. I spent my last two years at American working as a Program Assistant and Orientation Coordinator at the Washington Mentorship Program Office -- I wanted to give back to the program that had given me so much.
What are you doing now?
I work as an Executive Assistant to the Director, Deputy Director and Chief of Staff at the DoD, Task Force for Business and Stability Operations.
Favorite experience in the program?
My favorite experience in the program was actually the group projects we did as part of our Cross-Cultural Communication final exam. Each group was required to look into one of AU's programs which related to Cross-Cultural Communication. My group studied the International Student and Scholar Services department, and was able to tie the work they were doing to the theories we had learned in class about culture shock. Once all the projects were complete, each group presented to the class about their findings, and it was a great way to not only have a practical application for what we were learning in class, but also to learn about the different programs AU has to offer.
What do you do for fun in D.C. and on the weekends?
As cliché as it may sound, I actually love going to the monuments, especially at night or on a nice spring day. Otherwise, I spend my weekends catching up with friends, going out to dinner/movies, and doing all the errands I don't have time for during the week!
Feeling like something I am doing is helping someone else really inspires me. It also inspires me to be around other people who are passionate about what they are doing.
"There's beauty in the breakdown" – song lyrics from Frou Frou's "Let Go." There is a beauty in every part of life, the good, the bad, the happy, and the sad. Everything happens for a reason and every small part of our lives forms us into who we are -- "there's beauty in the breakdown."