The IWP Internship Experience: Caleb S. Smith

Caleb Smith

Throughout my time in college, I have been working to develop my skills and gain experience in the fields of intelligence, national security, and foreign policy. I am a Georgetown Army ROTC cadet at American University, meaning that, upon graduation, it is my goal to commission as a Reserve Military Intelligence officer. This means I have the option to pursue concurrent full-time employment in anything else. As a current intern in the Intelligence Community, I knew which second job I wished to pursue. With this career progression in mind, I knew that I needed to find an internship that would be more than just a resume booster.

The Institute of World Politics has been a long-time top internship opportunity for ROTC cadets in the Georgetown Battalion. Many of us have similar ambitions, and IWP has a track record of setting up these cadets for success in their fields. After hearing about this program and applying and receiving my acceptance, I found that I would be a research intern with the Counterterrorism Group (CTG) under Professor Danis. This was exactly the kind of opportunity I was looking for, as it nested perfectly with my career aspirations.

Through IWP, I got to conduct meaningful work in my area of interest, and I was able to engage in many other experiences. The Association of Former Intelligence Officers’ luncheon, Pentagon tours, weekly CT classes, regular speakers and events, and networking opportunities have all expanded my interests and increased my passion for national security and foreign policy. Additionally, through roundtable discussions and personal lunches with IWP faculty, interns had the opportunity to hear about a variety of federal-level jobs from a personal, expert viewpoint. After observing and networking, all an intern has to do is express interest in a job or area, and the IWP Career Services office will do everything possible to provide him or her with a vast menu of options to pursue.

Beyond the tangible benefits of interning at IWP, the working environment is one of the most pleasant I have ever experienced. The faculty and staff are incredibly supportive and invested in our success. The environment is very professional yet incredibly friendly. A guiding principle of the Institute is to be a mission-oriented individual rather than career-focused. This emphasis has deeply influenced me in my long-term planning, and I cannot thank IWP enough for pushing me towards a more meaningful and fulfilling career. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here, and I’m certain that I could not have found a better development opportunity, both professionally and personally.

Caleb Smith
Spring 2019

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