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The IWP Internship Experience: Bernard Barillo

Bernard Barillo

As an events and communications intern, I worked on administrative assignments for The Institute of World Politics. I was delighted to be recommended for this position by IWP’s internship and recruitment coordinator. I treated this internship as a professional occupation, because I know that IWP educates the future leaders of this nation. I firmly believe that my assignments in this program supported the IWP community and improved my administrative skills.

Serving as one of the Institute’s news contributors and photographers, I brought awareness to the achievements of its faculty members, the articles its professors published in intelligence and national security magazines, and student activities. Additionally, as a news contributor, I improved upon my writing skills gained from my undergraduate academic career. As a photographer, I took pictures of the best moments of each activity so that the Institute’s supporters and prospective students could see what the IWP community does.

As part of the internship program, I was able to audit courses, attend field trips with students, participate in crisis simulations, and take advantage of IWP’s career services. Auditing courses provided me with invaluable insight that my professors had gained throughout their careers. Participating in field trips took me to places such as the International Spy Museum and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Whether it be a scavenger hunt at the Spy Museum or a guided tour at the Basilica by an IWP professor, these places were great choices for students and interns to visit and appreciate. Engaging with students and interns in crisis simulations was an exhilarating experience. Participating in the ISIS Crisis and the Exercise Dragon Teeth simulations gave me experience in making sound decisions while under pressure from time constraints and circumstances that were out of my control. Finally, Derrick Dortch, director of career services and special programs, helped me develop a career path. I am grateful that he recommended staffing firms for me to contact and certificate programs approved by the United States government.

My advice to future interns is to take advantage of the opportunities presented in this internship. Auditing courses provide graduate-level lessons that complement the education of an undergraduate student. IWP’s professors can serve as an inspiration for a career that interns strive to achieve. Field trips and other special occasions sponsored by the Institute are great opportunities for interns to connect with the larger IWP community. Participating in high-stakes crisis simulations allows interns the opportunity to execute political-military actions in response to predicted or unforeseeable circumstances. I also recommended that interns reach out to Mr. Dortch for his help in developing their career paths. Interns receive sound career advice as well as invaluable resources. In addition to guidance from career services, interns who attend networking events with IWP alumni and roundtables featuring IWP professors broaden their understanding of career opportunities and research topics.

I value the lessons that I learned from this internship and am proud to have had the opportunity to work with the Institute’s staff, faculty, and students.  

Bernard Barillo
Fall 2021

Learn more about the internship program