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The IWP Internship Experience: David Charles Clarke

My experience during my 2022 internship at the Institute of World Politics, and in the year that followed, has been pivotal to my career choices and personal development. Through my efforts during the internship and afterwards, numerous opportunities have opened to me. My research under the guidance of Dr. Sara Vakhshouri revealed the challenges of source collection, data gathering, and report writing.

Within a typical undergraduate environment, a student is rarely presented with the opportunity to write a substantial research paper utilizing dozens of sources. However, Dr. Vakhshouri generously offered me the opportunity to write reports on energy transition under her guidance. Along the way, Dr.  Vakhshouri offered valuable research and professional advice taken from her own career, which has informed my own career decisions.

Most recently, my professional relationship with Dr. Vakhshouri has opened the opportunity to present an independent research paper at the acclaimed Gulf Research Meeting in Cambridge, England. With Dr. Vakhshouri’s recommendation and months of diligent work, I was accepted as one of the only undergraduate students to present an independent paper across the GRM’s decade-long history.

At the conference, I had the opportunity to speak with numerous scholars and professionals working in universities and industries across the Gulf. Dr. Vakhshouri kindly introduced me to her colleagues and provided advice for future career endeavors. The conference was eye-opening and highly informative, and the opportunity would not have arisen without my time spent with Dr. Vakhshouri and The Institute of World Politics.

IWP Intern, Summer 2022

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