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The IWP Internship Experience: Maddy O’Hara

As a rising junior with a wide variety of academic interests in the realm of international relations, I entered my summer internship unsure of a specific area that I wanted to focus on. Luckily, during my internship at The Institute of World Politics, I did not have to choose a specific focus. Through IWP’s top-notch academic programs and compelling lecture events, I was exposed to a wide variety of fields in the international affairs realm.

As an intern, I was able to audit a course, U.S. Bilateral Security Agreements, taught by Dr. Wayne Schroeder, an accomplished leader in the security field. I also had the chance to speak with the head of the career center, Mr. Derrick Dortch, who gave me some valuable tools in narrowing down my interests and future career path.

Working in the events and communications department allowed me to enhance my written communication skills, cultivate my event management and planning capabilities, and further my understanding of the professional communications of an institution such as IWP. I had the opportunity to sit in on some fascinating events, speak with professors about their courses, and draft communications that represented IWP to the outside world.

While I did not expect my summer internship experience to be virtual, I could not have asked for a better virtual experience than what I got with IWP. Despite not setting foot in the office, I still felt myself to be a part of a dedicated team. With our bi-weekly check-in meetings, I felt encouraged by the events and communications team to take initiative on projects. Moreover, I felt comfortable asking clarifying questions and received helpful feedback on my work.

IWP cares about its interns. It has created a robust internship program that provides opportunities for one-on-one engagement with alumni, class auditing, and a thought-provoking lecture lunch series with highly accomplished national security professionals. While I wish I had been working in person at the office, IWP seamlessly adapted its internship program to fit a virtual format.

I leave my IWP experience with strong skills that will make me successful in my future career in international affairs, gratitude for the support of an excellent team, and knowledge of the diversity of professional opportunities available to graduates interested in national security.

Maddy O’Hara
Events and Communications Intern, Summer 2020

Learn more about IWP internships