An internship with The Institute of World Politics first caught my attention because of the school’s focus on equipping students with the practical skills necessary in the conduct of statecraft. I was also drawn in by the school’s emphasis on learning how America’s moral traditions impact contemporary national security. I had high expectations entering this internship, yet my experience still surpassed them.
I was a research assistant for Dr. John Lenczowski, IWP’s founder and president. My primary task was to research Chinese influence operations in the United States. Through this assignment, I not only gained an understanding of those operations but also how American agencies are actively countering them. Throughout the entire semester, Dr. Lenczowski and I held regular meetings to discuss my research. He always had invaluable insights that helped me contextualize the specific operations I was analyzing and broader trends in Sino-American relations. His extensive knowledge and genuine passion for his work were immediately recognizable. I felt honored to work with Dr. Lenczowski.
I also had the opportunity to work with Mr. Derrick Dortch, IWP’s director of career services. My research piqued my interest in potentially pursuing a counterintelligence career. Mr. Dortch had a plethora of resources and contacts, which helped me lay out a career plan for myself in that field. Additionally, attending IWP alumni mentoring events allowed me to speak to professionals in my field of interest.
Through my internship at IWP, I improved my research abilities and better defined my career goals. IWP is a phenomenal organization full of people ready and willing to teach and assist. I feel fortunate to have interned here.