My experience here at The Institute of World Politics has been one that I am truly grateful for. I never imagined that I would gain so much from an internship. I originally learned of this internship through a fellow student also studying Intelligence at my university, Point Park. She had completed the internship the previous summer and spoke of how great her experience was. Almost immediately, I decided to apply.
IWP is not like other internships in that, here, we are trusted to carry out tasks without supervisors always looking over our shoulders. We were given immense amounts of opportunities to learn about potential careers and speak to individuals in those professions. The faculty at IWP has a vast range of experience in careers in national security, intelligence, and policy. As an intern, I had the opportunity to sit down with some of these individuals at lecture lunches and ask them questions and gain insight into the world of intelligence. It was an opportunity like no other.
Throughout the summer, a few other interns and I conducted research with Dr. David Thomas, a professor at IWP. Three days a week, we drove up to the National Archives in Maryland and spent the days sorting through documents. During my interview in applying for this internship, I was asked what my areas of interest were. IWP used these areas of interest to pair me with Dr. Thomas so that I was spending my time conducting research that I found interesting and worthwhile. Again, I will say that this internship experience is like no other.
Despite learning a vast amount of things relating to a career that I hope to one day pursue, the most memorable parts of this experience were the times I spent with the other interns. Here at IWP, interns do not compete for various positions or “to become the best” (although we are encouraged to become our own personal best). We all had the opportunity to bond at numerous intern-only events, and it really added to my time here this summer.
Coming into this internship, I was both excited and nervous. The staff, faculty, and my fellow interns helped me to feel welcome and, thus, IWP began to feel more like a home. I came in knowing that I was interested in careers in intelligence, and I left with more knowledge than I could hope for on an array of careers that I had not considered before. From more typical intern duties, like making coffee, to speaking to professionals in fields I hope to one day enter, my time at The Institute of World Politics was one that I will remember and would highly recommend to other students with interests in similar fields.