As a recent graduate of George Mason University, I was feeling overwhelmed and unsure about where my future would take me. Given the COVID-19 impacts, my graduation and post-graduation plans were abruptly put on hold. I was extremely lucky to accept an internship with The Institute of World Politics, where I served as a research assistant and intern. While we had to conduct the fall semester in an online fashion, IWP still managed to exceed my initial expectations. I was able to audit courses, conduct research, and meet with career services.
I audited a course titled “Sources of American Political Thought” with Dr. Joseph Wood and sat in on two courses, “Terrorism” and “Violent Non-State Actors,” with Professor Aaron Danis. I jumped right into the readings, class participation, and assignments, just as my classmates did. These courses gave me a full view of what life as a graduate student would look like and unique perspectives given by national security professionals.
For my research project, I worked with Mr. Dean Lane, IWP’s Senior Vice President for Cyber Intelligence. Working with Mr. Lane was extremely beneficial in expanding my knowledge into how much of an impact cyber has on national security and protecting critical infrastructure. Cyber intelligence is used in our everyday lives, and exposure to how we can better protect ourselves was a very beneficial aspect of my internship.
If I had the chance to intern again for IWP, I would do it with no questions asked. I highly encourage anyone interested in the national security field or graduate studies to intern with IWP. This experience is certainly one you cannot get anywhere else.