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The IWP Internship Experience: Lilly Thumm

Lilly Thumm HeadshotThrough Butler University’s Washington D.C. Learning Semester, I was able to live on Capitol Hill and work for four months alongside Dr. Sara Vakhshouri as she examined energy transition in emerging markets, specifically countries in Africa. Outside of my work as a research assistant, I was able to attend a Washington Capitals game with other interns, students, and the internship coordinator.

As for my career aspirations, I received a lot of support from Dr. Vakhshouri and from Mr. Derrick Dortch, IWP’s director of career services. Both informed me of future opportunities and gave advice on how to achieve my goals. Dr. Vakhshouri was a valuable reference as well when seeking summer internships.

In terms of my work, it ranged from simple administrative work such as sending emails and coordinating schedules, to attending meetings with foreign ambassadors where I was able to present ideas and research I conducted. I was offered additional work through Dr. Vakhshouri’s nonprofit. This allowed me to explore the business side of the work we were doing which introduced new skills I would not have learned otherwise.

The skills I gained and improved upon will be vital to my final year at Butler University, as well as whichever career I do find myself taking on after graduation. I have gained a mentor and supporter while learning from a brilliant woman who truly does it all. I highly recommend this internship for anyone who has a strong interest in writing, research, and international relations.

Lilly Thumm
Spring 2022

Learn more about the internship program