Beth Furtwangler, CCAS BA ’08, is a loyal volunteer for GW Student Alumni Programs. We asked her about her time at GW and what it means to volunteer as an alumna.
What does being a GW alumna mean to you?
I’m incredibly proud to be a GW alumna. I’m constantly hearing about the inspiring and remarkable achievements of other alumni, and I’m thrilled to be part of such an impressive network of Colonials.
What advice do you have for current GW students?
Take advantage of everything GW and the city has to offer! It’s an extraordinary opportunity to live and study in the heart of D.C. and experience #OnlyAtGW moments on a daily basis.
How did your education from the Columbian College help shape your career path?
The flexibility of the Columbian College curriculum was what originally attracted me to GW. As an incoming freshman, I had no idea what I wanted my major to be – at one point, I was considering math! During my first two semesters, I took classes across a variety of subjects and that’s how I stumbled upon communications, which ended up being my major, and journalism, one of my minors. I interned for several companies including NPR, USA Today, and Cox Newspapers, and I gained experience as a daily news reporter as well as on the public relations side. My first job was doing publicity at Wenner Media, which publishes Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, and Men’s Journal magazines, and I currently work in the communications department of National Geographic. Both jobs perfectly combine my background in communications and media, which is all thanks to GW.
Describe your role as a Student Alumni Programs volunteer.
After graduation I lived in Chicago and New York, so I was able to volunteer with the admissions office by interviewing prospective students and helping at regional recruiting events. Now that I’ve moved back to D.C., I’ve really enjoyed participating in on-campus events, such as the Colonial Inauguration Dinners, and meeting current students at networking events. I’m also on the board of the GW Alumni Association (GWAA), which has been a fantastic way to stay engaged with the University.
How has being a GW volunteer impacted you personally?
I’ve learned that paying it forward doesn’t always have to be about money – donating time and sharing advice can be just as valuable and rewarding. Part of the GWAA’s mission is “Colonials Helping Colonials,” and I think all alumni should strive to support current students and fellow alumni, whether it’s offering career advice over coffee, welcoming new students at regional summer send-offs, or sharing job and internship opportunities with the GW Career Center. Every little bit can have an impact and strengthen the GW alumni network.