LinkedIn tracking pixel

The IWP Internship Experience: Alexander Wall

Alexander Wall

I was fortunate enough to be able to intern at The Institute of World Politics for both a fall and spring semester. During my time, I was able to enjoy many different benefits of the intern experience.

It was an incredible experience to be able to work with Dr. Amanda Won and assist with the China-Asia Program at IWP. I was tasked with creating and updating the weekly China-Asia program newsletter, which was sent to many Asia-watchers and policymakers in the United States and abroad. The newsletter was intended to give the recipients a weekly update on the latest developments in Asia, focusing on China, Taiwan, North and South Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia. It was an incredible experience to be able to assist in the creation of the newsletter and stay up to date on recent developments. I was also able to conduct my own research on a topic of my choice, which gave me great insights into the world of research and academic writing.

Another incredible experience from the Institute was being able to attend the many events that took place at IWP. These ranged from speaker events to book signings, lecture lunches, student roundtable discussions, and site visits. It was an incredible experience to be able to participate in these experiences and be treated as a member of the IWP family with the other members of the staff and faculty.

As an intern, I was able to attend two site visits. In the fall semester was a trip to the headquarters of the Department of Justice. This was a great opportunity to get a closer look into the inner workings of the Department as well as discuss the role the Department plays in United States foreign policy. In the spring, I was able to tour the Pentagon building. During that tour, we were given a look into the operations of the Pentagon and how the branches of the military coordinate their actions, and we gained a deeper appreciation for the history that led to the current state of the U.S. military.

Another opportunity I had the privilege of participating in was IWP’s wargaming series with Professor Aaron Danis. I was able to participate in two different sessions across the two semesters which involved many wargaming scenarios. The scenarios included geopolitical flashpoints like the Taiwan Strait, the South China Sea, North Korea, and Africa. These wargames not only were a great opportunity to engage with more members of the IWP community but also an invaluable way to understand how policymakers and experts are viewing these problems and seeking to understand and maximize the relative advantages of your side.

While IWP allows for interns to take up to eight credits, I broke mine into four credits each semester. In the fall, I took Economics for Foreign Policy Makers with Dr. Anne Bradley. This class was an incredible opportunity to not only refresh some economic principles that are essential to understand; it also taught me a new way of approaching security issues from the lens of trade and economics. Dr. Bradley is an amazing professor who has incredibly engaging classes and discussions and is very personable.

In the spring semester, I took Counterintelligence in a Democratic Society with Dr. David Thomas. This class was very comprehensive and sought to analyze the threat posed to American society by hostile intelligence services, as well as the tools the Intelligence Community has to mitigate these threats from a legal and practical perspective. Dr. Thomas is very well-versed in the subject matter as well as an engaging lecturer. Even though I was just observing the class and not taking it for credit, I still found myself engaging with the material and posing questions of my own to Dr. Thomas.

I really enjoyed the opportunity provided by IWP to participate in these classes and get a sense of what graduate coursework is like should I consider graduate school after finishing my undergraduate work.

Alexander Wall
IWP Intern, Fall 2023 and Spring 2024
From American University

Learn More About IWP Internships