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The IWP Internship Experience: Olivia Estes

My interests in international affairs have always spread across a spectrum of fields. As a double major in history and international affairs, with a concentration in conflict resolution, there are so many areas of international governance that I want to explore. My experience at IWP not only allowed me to do so but also reaffirmed and strengthened my interest in pursuing a career in public diplomacy and public affairs.

Collaborating with the Events and Communications team has been so insightful in learning about the field of public affairs. My tasks ranged from learning about alumni and fundraising databases, to managing and organizing high profile events and lecture series, to developing marketing strategies for a professional institution. Every day, the staff and students at IWP challenged me to take initiative and fostered an environment of creativity and innovation.

Most internships for undergraduates lack the ability for students to lead and design their own experience. So many of my peers become disillusioned by only doing administrative tasks for their co-workers. My experience at IWP has been the complete opposite of this. The staff encouraged me to take the lead on certain aspects of the event management process and create marketing and social media campaigns across various platforms. Every day, I was treated as an equal and valued member of the team, despite being a sophomore in college.

Although my physical time at the IWP office was cut short due to COVID-19, the transition to online work was smooth and worthwhile. The Events and Communications team continued to allow me to work with them remotely on media projects and database upkeep. One of my favorite projects that the team allowed me to partake in was the enhancement of IWP’s Instagram account. I was able to create content via Instagram stories, which provided additional resources and further engagement with prospective students, alumni, and the IWP community at large. Additionally, they ensured that I felt included in all of the check-in meetings and ongoing projects. I am immensely grateful to have had the Events and Communications team as a collaborative community during such uncertain times.

My advice to future interns is this: this experience is what you make out it. At IWP, you are given all of the tools to be creative and take the initiative in the projects that you want to pursue. However, it is up to you to accept the challenge and create a pathway for success. I highly recommend doing so.

Learn more about IWP internships