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The IWP Internship Experience: Stacey Dec

Stacey Dec

My summer as an intern at The Institute of World Politics was an unforgettable experience.  From the moment I began to my last days at IWP, I always found myself being challenged and learning more about the unique mission. I can’t say enough about how exceptional my time at IWP was this summer — it truly exceeded my expectations.

As a rising junior at the University of Richmond with majors in political science and journalism, I chose IWP because I knew I wanted to explore my interests in the heart of Washington, D.C. IWP provided the perfect opportunity for me to witness how politics interact with communications while I also learned about national security and international affairs at a graduate level.

My responsibilities as one of IWP’s summer events and communications interns included editing recordings of the IWP YouTube channel and podcast, writing news articles for the IWP website, and assisting with managing the lecture series, among others. Through these processes, I was able to develop my editing skills and my understanding of the event process.

During my first week, I attended and helped at the 2018 Commencement for IWP.  The speaker for the ceremony was Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and hearing his message to the IWP graduates was truly something I would never have been able to do at another internship.  Additionally, as part of the events team, I helped to host several lectures and conferences, including the COKUSS/CUSKOS 33rd International Security Conference and IWP’s inaugural Cyber Embassy Night. It was especially impactful to be part of these events because they attracted high-profile individuals to IWP, and they allowed me to discover how different countries view the ideas we discuss at IWP every day.

The most important aspect I will take away from IWP is the connections I made during my internship experience. IWP introduced me to several alumni, each with their own impressive backgrounds and stories that helped guide my career plans. Through speed networking, intern excursions, and lectures, I was able to vastly increase my knowledge of what it takes to be a D.C. professional while simultaneously expanding my own network.

One of my favorite things we did this summer was go on a private tour of the Pentagon. Without IWP’s connections to employees of the Department of Defense, we would not have been able to go behind the scenes in the Pentagon or see the Secretary’s wing, not to mention learn about how their IWP experiences have deeply impacted their career.

During my first moments as an intern at IWP, I was told that IWP was very professional but a family at the same time. As I finish my internship here, I can confirm that this message was incredibly accurate.  My supervisors and the staff at IWP have been kind and have created the most welcoming environment.  They really do ensure that each intern is thriving at IWP and will go out of their way to speak with them, personally and professionally. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend spending a semester interning here to any student interested in the political landscape in Washington. I am confident that, with this internship experience in hand, I will be able to succeed when I enter the workforce after I complete my undergraduate education.

Stacey Dec
Events and Communications Intern, Summer 2018