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The IWP Internship Experience: Melissa Zentz

Melissa Zentz

I knew from the moment I walked into The Institute of World Politics Open House that it was place I wanted to be — from the genuine, warm smiling faces, to the prestigious yet inviting environment. IWP challenged me to reach my full potential and opened endless doors of opportunities, with a thoughtful and intelligent support system. As the youngest intern at the graduate school, I was intimidated by everyone else’s accomplishments, education and connections. I was the freshman who just started my college education, moved away from home for the first time, and entered into a brand new city. But, I was determined to make the most of my internship at IWP.

During my internship, mentors, faculty, staff, students, and fellow interns never ceased encouraging me to accomplish things I never thought were possible for me. IWP has an undeniable bond among the faculty, staff, students, and interns; they are truly a family at the finest. Despite my differences from everyone else, not once did I feel out of place. IWP became my home away from home and taught me professional, educational, and personal skills. Specifically, it enhanced my communication, analytical, writing, and problem solving skills.

My communication skills were enhanced as I worked at the front desk of the Marlatt Mansion, where I answered the phone, greeted guests, and performed administrative tasks. During my Skybox shift, in the events and communication department, I engaged in planning professional events. In this department, I was taught invaluable skills revolving around event planning, from logistics, presentation of the event, and running the actual event, to writing press releases after the event. During my time spent in the Skybox, I had the privilege to attend and write a press release for an event at The Heritage Foundation called “Public Diplomacy Challenges for the Trump Administration.”

I also had the opportunity to work on a research project that increased my analytical, writing, and problem solving skills. I researched under Dr. Matt Daniels, the Chair of Law & Human Rights and Founder of the Center for Human Rights and International Affairs at IWP. I worked on the “Good Of All” project, with a focus on digital media counter-terrorism education. Through this research project I created YouTube videos that exposed human rights violations within popular movies and related the human rights violations to current world problems. The project aimed at educating people about the International Human Rights Declaration. This opportunity was important to my education because it helped heighten my desire to human rights.

The Institute of World Politics has a remarkable internship program that exceeded all my expectations. It gives each individual freedom to shine, enrich his or her education, and learn many aspects of professionalism.  I am beyond proud of my accomplishments and the promising road that lies ahead, which would not have been possible without IWP.