David Ndreca ’19 is a pianist and car enthusiast who’s conducting foreign-policy research on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), after finishing up a semesterlong internship through Dickinson’s Washington Semester program. He learned from the pros and expanded his professional network exponentially during that internship, as he shared dinners with U.S. senators and met the prime minister of Greece. Along the way, this Posse Foundation scholar is also polishing his digital humanities savvy, having taken part in a Digital Boot Camp course in 2016.
Clubs and organizations:
Dickinson Christian Fellowship, Italian Club and intramural sports.
The Posse Foundation full-tuition leadership scholarship.
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.
Political Philosophy, taught by [Assistant Professor of Political Science] Toby Reiner, has surely been one of my favorite classes. The admixture of different ideologies and the students’ approaches to the various political theories has made this class particularly intriguing and insightful. From extremely conservative to extremely liberal, students had the opportunity to express their thoughts, creating an oftentimes tense but lovely environment.
Most important things I’ve learned so far:
The best way to figure out who you are is to make mistakes and try new things. We’re humans and sometimes we make mistakes, but we ought to be big enough to admit them and strong enough to correct them. The principal goal of education is not only to expand our knowledge but also to push ourselves to try new things, and to ultimately create new things.
Favorite place on campus:
Bosler Hall, basement studio 08.
Talents or hobbies:
I play the piano and can paint. I am also a wine connoisseur, and I love fixing cars.
On my internship:
I interned at Citigroup Inc. [through Dickinson's Washington Semester program], and it was the most insightful experience I’ve had so far. I applied all the skills I’ve acquired at Dickinson, and I learned so much. I'm now applying that knowledge—especially on trade and investment—to my research project on NAFTA.
Throughout the semester, I worked closely with executives and met high-level officials on a daily basis. I’ve had the pleasure to meet and dine with U.S. senators, the Russian minister for economic development, the prime minister of Greece and others. As my boss stated, “This has been an out-of-the-ordinary experience.” I strongly recommend that rising juniors explore their study abroad opportunities here at Dickinson. The adventures they will experience and the network they will create will unquestionably be worth the hard work.
I also learned that if you are truly taken by your job—if you’re dedicated—all the hard work will pay off! At the end, your performance reflects who you truly are.
Meeting officials at the White House.
About my research:
I am currently conducting research on the economic effects and foreign policy consequences of a renegotiated NAFTA. After working with USTR [United States Trade Representative] negotiators and other U.S. officials, I decided that researching NAFTA would be a good fit for me not only because it was relevant to my daily work expectations but also because I am confident in applying all the knowledge I’ve acquired at Dickinson to foreign policy and international relations.
I have to admit, it is hard to have a favorite professor at Dickinson. During my time here, I’ve met phenomenal professors eager to help their students. Their dedication goes above and beyond. This quality obviously extends to the staff as well. Dickinson is truly a family community, and students should take advantage of its opportunities. A particular thank you to my academic advisor, [Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies] Andy Wolff, who visited and advised me in D.C. His genuine devotion is truly remarkable.
If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be . . .
. . . Leonardo da Vinci.
In a perfect world …
… I would undeniably be the imperfection.
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Published January 11, 2018