In November 2015, I attended a Young America’s Foundation conference in Santa Barbara, California. A sophomore in college with big hopes and dreams, I was fascinated by the political realm I had stumbled into. One of the days of the conference, the entire team headed to Rancho del Cielo, President Ronald Reagan’s ranch-sometimes known as the “Western White House.” That day, I was asked to say the pledge of allegiance before our lunch, after which Dr. John Lenczowski spoke about his career, President Reagan, and this very interesting place called The Institute of World Politics.
Instantly, the words “world” and politics” jumped at me. I still did not know what exactly I wanted to do during the rest of my undergraduate career or in the future, but I was certain it had to do with international politics in some capacity. I researched IWP and was fascinated by the opportunities they offered their students. The coursework was interesting, relevant, and in line with an important mission. I kept the name of this fascinating place and Dr. Lenczowski’s words in the back of head.
Fast-forward to the fall of 2016, and my undergraduate studies program was forming into a concise plan full of the “world” and “politics.” I was a political science major who had just picked up a peace, war, and defense (PWAD) major, and was certain about a future in human rights advocacy and geopolitical studies. My new major sent out information about an internship at IWP, and I immediately applied.
This summer, I have been lucky enough to fulfill the IWP research internship. Alongside dedicated scholars, I have tackled crucial questions regarding terrorism, international law, human rights, and American principles. By working with Mr. Derrick Dortch’s counterterrorism research group, I have gotten hands-on experience in analysis. Our work has been provided to various entities, such as police departments and embassies, which is a rare opportunity at a D.C. internship. Alongside Dr. Matthew Daniels’ Good of All project, I have created multimedia videos to showcase human rights abuses worldwide in an effort to broaden the mission of universal rights. Through lots of hard work, I have solidified my desire to pursue a future in the sphere of world politics.
Still, the internship has been so, so much more. I have met some wonderful people, from my fellow interns, to my supervisors, to the professors at IWP. It has been incredibly rewarding to be surrounded by individuals who adore their jobs and the mission of their employer. This building is filled with passion and dedication, and it has been an honor to be a part of the IWP mission this summer. Going forward into my senior year, I am confident that the lessons I have learned here (and the incredible individuals I have met here) will have a huge impact on my future.
Thank you IWP, for this unforgettable experience!