From 9-17 September, 15 students were given the incredible opportunity to experience life and enhance their employability skills in the capital of the United States of America – Washington DC.

Throughout the week, students met with a number of Westminster alumni and partners, visiting a range of professional environments. Made possible with the generous support of the Quintin Hogg Trust and offered by the University’s Alumni Team, the trip involved advice and discussions on students’ life after graduation and potential career paths.

Students were given an exclusive tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) by the Deputy Director, Dr Rex Ellis. It is the newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution and the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture with over 36,000 artefacts.

They also visited the headquarters of Under Armour, located in Baltimore, Maryland, where they were given a behind-the-scenes tour and an inspirational talk by Westminster alumna and Vice-President for Global Design Engine, Noreen Naroo-Pucci. Her talk showed students that hard work and determination can be the difference between achieving your dreams and falling just short. Since graduating from a Fashion degree in 1993, Noreen has had an exciting career across the world, working for companies like Fila, Marks & Spencer and Champion before taking the senior position in Under Armour.


Among the visits, students went to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, which featured the founder of the UK’s first Polytechnic Institute, now the University of Westminster, Sir George Cayley, and Montgomery College, where alumna Emily Rosado is an award-winning Associate Professor of English.  

Additionally, students participated in a discussion with Executive Chef and restaurateur Andrew Market in his own Beuchert’s Saloon, a restaurant and bar serving up a ‘farm American’ dining experience. They also toured the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History, where they had a talk by Senior Historian Joyce Bedi.

Other activities included a Westminster alumni event in the charming neighbourhood of Georgetown, where students met with alumni working and living in Washington, and a private piano recital, organised by alumnus and entrepreneur, Paul Ashe, where the trip concluded. 

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Egle Lusciauskaite, a BA Public Relations and Advertising student who took part on the trip, said: “This opportunity to visit Washington D.C. with the Westminster Working Cultures programmes was not only a dream come true but also an extremely useful and unforgettable experience where I have learned a lot about the capital’s history, culture and professional environment.”

Bhavesh Davda, trip supervisor and Alumni Networks Officer, commented: “I was impressed with the group of students that were selected for the trip. They really made the most of each session and truly immersed themselves in the programme. It was an incredible week full of engaging and inspirational speakers and I would like to thank everyone who took the time out of their busy schedules to contribute to an incredible Westminster Working Cultures programme in Washington DC.”

Speaking about the programme, Professor Alex Hughes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement, said: “The University is committed to offering all our students opportunities for employability-related learning, whether through placements, internships, employer engagement or work or study abroad. Westminster Working Cultures enables that learning to happen in an international context and I’m delighted that we have added Washington DC to our list of destinations.”


The next destination in the Westminster Working Cultures programme will take place in Mumbai in January 2019. With students from 165 countries, staff from across the world and a highly international alumni community, the University of Westminster embraces global engagement in all its forms. We have a rich mix of international partnerships in over 20 countries worldwide and place particular emphasis on providing international opportunities for our students. Our research addresses global themes and is sustained by international collaborations. We are an international institution, located in the heart of London.

Learn more about Westminster Working Cultures.

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