I had the IWP internship in mind when I was a junior in high school. I found it online and knew it would offer a beneficial experience in the fields of intelligence and national security. I never imagined that it would give me such a comprehensive look at my areas of study. Not only was I able to audit graduate classes as a junior in college, but I was given unique opportunities to hear prestigious lecturers, tour facilities I would have otherwise been unable to enter, and gain valuable workforce experience that would give me the upper hand on my undergraduate colleagues.
As a part of the IWP internship experience, all participants are given a research opportunity. Because my aspirations lie within the intelligence community, I was assigned to the Counterterrorism Group (CTG). With CTG, I was able to analyze and assess developments related to worldwide terrorism in support of U.S.-owned/operated multinational companies, non-profits, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), think tanks, and government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. I had the opportunity to develop and utilize knowledge of transnational and regional terrorist groups active worldwide in order to collect intelligence, analyze and develop strategies to counter and defeat terrorists, and prevent acts of terrorism. As a rising junior seeking an undergraduate degree, this was the best experience I could have gained. I can honestly say that I entered my position on CTG knowing nothing about analysis, and I left with capabilities exceeding that of an entry-level analyst.
During their semester, interns are also given the opportunity to participate in IWP’s graduate courses. This opportunity offers insight to interns in regards to what higher level education is like. My specific experiences were with Professor Santoli’s Peace, Strategy, and Conflict Resolution course and with Dr. Marlo’s International Relations, Statecraft, and Integrated Strategy course. Both courses were extremely insightful, and the professors and students alike proved to be inclusive and extremely professional. I was thankful that my professors gave me the freedom to participate in whatever aspects of the course in which I wished to be included. The educational experience that these courses offered me is going to make undergraduate courses feel like a breeze in the coming months.
Additionally, my internship consisted of work with academic affairs, events, communications, and operations management. The internship at IWP offered me such a comprehensive look at higher education in the fields of national security and intelligence. It gave me an idea of what to expect from the workforce and from the pursuit of a graduate degree. Looking back, I undoubtedly made the right decision to apply for the internship at IWP.
IWP Intern, Summer 2018