As a fall 2020 graduate, I spent many sleepless nights thinking about how I would find a job in an uncertain job market. I worried that I did not have enough real-world experience. Now, after spending a semester at IWP as a research assistant and intern, I feel more prepared to enter the workforce.
I can say with certainty that, as an intern, I did not have to fetch a single cup of coffee. The faculty and staff at IWP made sure that our time was not wasted but valued as part of the bigger picture. The administrative work I completed was not busywork; one of the more fun tasks I had was editing lecture videos for IWP’s online degree program. Assisting the academic affairs team allowed me to see directly how my work helped support current and future students.
I feel extremely lucky to have worked with Dr. Frank Marlo, IWP’s dean of academics, researching China and its role in shaping the future of the Asia-Pacific region. The Socratic nature of our weekly meetings allowed me and my fellow intern to have some interesting dialogue about strategic security in the South China Sea and forecasting China’s grand strategy.
My favorite internship experience this fall was participating in the political-military simulation Exercise Dragon Teeth. Being able to roleplay as a senior Taiwan government official was not only an exciting mix of fun and stressful, but it was also an informative exercise on dealing with the overwhelming flow of information and strategic decision-making. I was even able to apply the knowledge that I gained through assisting Dr. Marlo with his research to inform my decision-making and strategizing regarding the precarious nature of diplomacy between the U.S., China, and Taiwan.
Overall, my time at IWP was filled with meaningful professional support from IWP faculty and staff and access to a wealth of knowledge and experience that is unmatched anywhere else. I am extremely grateful to have been a part of the team and contributed to IWP’s institutional objectives.