IWP is hands-down the best experience I could have asked for when coming to D.C. I come from a small school in Colorado called Regis University, and I learned of IWP through The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) summer program. I want to work in intelligence, and I know I needed an internship to graduate with a B.A. in Politics. There are, however, very few, if any, intelligence-related internships in Colorado. When I got into the TFAS program, Director Colin Parks, who is an alumnus of IWP, encouraged me to apply to the Institute. He knew it would be a good fit for me, and he was absolutely right.
I fell in love with D.C. this summer, and IWP was a huge part of that. The last thing I wanted to do in an internship was to only answer phones, make copies, and get coffee for people. That was nothing like my experience at IWP. I was assigned to the Counter Terrorism Team doing real-time analysis on terror organizations, attacks, and events all over the world. I learned how to do real intelligence work using open source intelligence (OSINT). I wrote reports, performed background analysis on terror groups, prepared and delivered briefings, and worked with other intern teams to provide accurate analysis of real world events. It was everything I wanted to do and more. Every day, I could not wait to boot up my laptop and head into work.
Of course, I did some filing and copying, but I was happy to support the amazing mission of the school. All great endeavors need those small things to operate, and what differentiates IWP from other places is that everyone helps out no matter what their position is. IWP is filled with highly skilled, highly intelligent people who are always willing to assist you, and, if you are willing to learn, they are willing to teach you. It may seem a little intimidating to be working with such interesting and respected people – it was for me at first – but they quickly show you that you are a part of the IWP family and only want to enrich your experience, even as an intern. They go out of their way to make sure that you get the most out of your internships.
I came to D.C. thinking that I had to go to a big school like Georgetown to get anywhere, but I quickly found out that is not the case. While living here, I toured all the graduate schools that have a Master’s program in foreign policy or international relations, and not a single one matches the caliber of professors and education at IWP. Being an intern at IWP has completely changed my path for the better. It truly is the best-kept secret in D.C., not just in regard to its academics but also in its internship. This coming year, I will be graduating from my undergraduate program, and IWP will be getting an application from me.
Oh, and I did end up getting coffee, but it was with friends and colleagues who helped make my IWP internship experience so amazing.
Intern, Summer 2018