My time at IWP has been incredible, spanning from the professional advancement provided through research and a wide range of opportunities relating to the fields of intelligence, national security, and international affairs.
IWP’s internship program was an internship I had been keen on partaking in since my freshman year at American University. However, I was too young and still needed to accumulate experience before I had a shot of getting in. During my time at college, I never forgot about IWP and continuously got emails from American University about IWP’s internship program. This past summer, while applying for fall internships, I immediately applied to IWP. I was later called back for an interview and subsequently accepted an intern position. I felt so much joy and excitement, as this was for me the first internship that truly lined up with exactly what I wanted to do later in my professional life.
My first day at the internship, I was somewhat nervous; however, the staff I worked with were some of the kindest and most thoughtful people I have ever worked under. They did an amazing job of explaining to me my responsibilities and other day-to-day operations. The work itself was not dull in the slightest, and I was exceptionally pleased to see my contributions had an impact. Over the course of the semester, I wrote and had published on the IWP website two different news articles.
My favorite part of this internship was the research I did; however, it was very difficult to pick and choose because of all the incredible research options that IWP offers to its interns. In the end, I decided to work on a defense economics research project with IWP professor, Dr. Wayne A. Schroeder. Dr. Schroeder is a very kind, intelligent, and charismatic individual, which made the overall experience exceptional, as he was always eager to teach me and explain certain theories and how to effectively examine data. During my research, I learned a great deal about the Department of Defense and the U.S. Defense Budget. I spent many hours doing thorough research, which I would then compile and present to Dr. Schroeder. Throughout my research, I learned about the DoD, other governmental agencies, and nations such as China and Russia, which only furthered my interest in this field of work. We would meet frequently, and, every time, I would always come in eager to know what my next research task would consist of. I still have all the research and presentations, which has even helped in my own classes here at American University. I enjoyed this work so much that I have decided to continue doing similar research for the next semester and would recommend anybody with an interest in international relations and economics to do research with Dr. Schroeder.
Before even starting clerical work and research at IWP, I was offered the option to audit a graduate-level course. I was thrilled to see that IWP offered classes with very specific scopes. I ended up choosing the IWP 689 course, North Korea and the Geopolitics of Northeast Asia, taught by Professor John Sano. Professor Sano has an impressive background, having worked for 28 years in the CIA and going on to become the National Clandestine Service’s Deputy Director and Chief of the East Asia Division in the Directorate of Operations. It came to me as such a surprise that IWP has people of such quality. However, I now realize many of the professors dedicating their time here all have formidable backgrounds. Next semester, I intend on auditing yet another class taught by Dr. Schroeder, Defense Strategy, Planning, and Budgeting (IWP 679). I consider myself very fortunate with the classes I am taking, as all of these have only furthered my interests in national security matters and international threats.
I can say wholeheartedly that this was one of my favorite experiences during my time as an undergraduate, and I cannot say enough how grateful I am, as the staff, the work, the research, and the opportunities were beyond exceptional. I look forward to interning here at the IWP again in spring 2020 and will be publishing an article with Dr. Schroeder examining the economic contingencies of the U.S. defense budget and drafting policy recommendations.