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The IWP Internship Experience: Elizabeth Sluka

IWP’s internship program first caught my attention due to the Institute’s focus on national security and statecraft. I entered the internship with the desire to contribute to an institution that deeply values America’s founding principles. What I experienced far surpassed my expectations.

Even with the remote nature of my internship, due to COVID-19, my time at IWP has been one of my favorite work experiences to date. I had the opportunity to research China’s geopolitical strategy and totalitarianism under Dr. John Lenczowski, IWP’s founder and president. His talks on China and communism led me to analyze the Chinese government and the Soviet Union in ways I had never considered before. On top of the immense amount of knowledge and insight that Dr. Lenczowski shared, it was clear from the first conversation that he deeply cares about the well-being of every person at IWP.

I also had the opportunity to perform various administrative duties under Ms. Gloria Shunda, Dr. Lenczowski’s executive assistant, who is one of the most hard-working and considerate people I have ever had the pleasure to work for. At IWP, every task serves a purpose. The Institute has many moving parts, and Ms. Shunda made it evident that all contributions to keep it running smoothly are appreciated.

IWP’s robust career services program helped me identify and narrow down broad career goals into specific positions within potential organizations. The director of career services, Mr. Derrick Dortch, took several hours out of his busy schedule on multiple days to coach us interns on how to craft stellar resumes and network in our desired fields. As a government and strategic intelligence student, I was particularly impressed to hear of all the possible ways to work in and contribute to the intelligence community, from public diplomacy to defense contracting.

Even with a remote work environment, one of my favorite parts of the internship was connecting and building friendships with other summer interns from all over the country. IWP attracts an outstanding group of people, and I am honored to have worked alongside them. Overall, I have been blown away at how much each person at IWP wants to see interns grow and succeed, not just perform various needed tasks. I am excited to use what I have learned about national security, international affairs, and public diplomacy for the rest of my career.

Elizabeth Sluka
Summer 2020

Learn more about IWP internships