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The IWP Internship Experience: Haifa Albelaihid

Energy Security Class at the Army Navy Club
Haifa Albelaihid (right) with Dr. Sara Vakhshouri (center) during an energy security class meeting at the Army Navy Club

As a Saudi student, I could not pass up the opportunity to attend the executive training course on energy security and energy diplomacy held at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) in collaboration with IWP during my time home for winter break. The course was led by Dr. Sara Vakhshouri who I have been following closely after hearing her speak at multiple panels during my first semester in D.C. Little did I know that this course would be the beginning of an enriching internship experience.

After flying back to D.C. when my break ended, I was thrilled to learn that I would be interning at IWP. As a research intern, I had the opportunity to work closely with Dr. Vakhshouri and attend the full version of the executive training course I attended back home. The courses provided a thorough exploration of energy security, geopolitics, and the global energy market, building upon the foundation laid by the executive course. This continuity in learning helped me to further solidify my knowledge and apply it in a more extensive academic setting.

One of the most valuable aspects of Dr. Vakhshouri’s courses was the opportunity to apply my knowledge through case studies on the energy profiles of various countries, including Vietnam, Russia, and Oman. Examining the current state of the energy sector and analyzing the latest reports and official correspondence made these courses truly engaging and relevant.

In addition to my work with Dr. Vakhshouri, I had the chance to attend various events organized by IWP. These events expanded my knowledge of politics and security beyond the realm of energy. One event I found insightful was “The World of Lobbying and Current State of Politics on Capitol Hill” by Brian Johnson, which taught me about the inner workings of lobbying in the U.S. and how foreign states are able to engage in lobbying efforts as well.

Throughout my internship at IWP, I had the privilege of learning from and working alongside some truly remarkable individuals. The knowledge and skills I acquired during this time have been invaluable, and I know they will serve me well as I pursue a career in the energy sector. From the in-depth classes with Dr. Vakhshouri to the engaging events and discussions with my fellow interns and IWP staff, every aspect of this experience has contributed to my growth both personally and professionally.

Haifa Albelaihid
Intern, Spring 2024
From Georgetown University

Learn More About IWP Internships