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The IWP Internship Experience: Destiney Smith

Destiney Smith

As a Communication major at the University of Maryland, College Park, my internship at The Institute of World Politics has truly been a game-changer. Under the guidance of Senior Vice President Katie Bridges in the Communications & Alumni department, I served as the Social Media Intern. The opportunity first caught my attention when IWP recruiter Jennifer Alexander visited my social media class at UMD. As soon as I got home, I reached out to her, set up an interview, and became an intern a few weeks later. I embraced the chance to apply my communication skills in a unique environment. IWP provided me with an enriching experience that went beyond my academic focus.

During my time at IWP, I’ve developed a diverse set of skills, from crafting e-newsletters to producing visual content and creating engaging podcast previews. Additionally, exploring data analysis has deepened my understanding of audience engagement metrics, emphasizing the importance of adaptive social media strategies. After publishing content such as the newsletters, I’ve been able to analyze the statistics of successful deliveries, clicks rates, open rates, etc. Also, I was tasked with writing alumnus success stories and press releases. Beyond skill development, the internship has allowed me to cross paths with people from varied backgrounds, expanding my network and providing invaluable mentorship opportunities.

My favorite part about IWP is the culture. From the moment I walked through the doors for the very first time, every person I met has been welcoming, compassionate, and knowledgeable in anything I inquired about. Moreover, in my role as the Social Media Intern, I had the opportunity to witness firsthand students securing employment directly as a result of their studies at IWP. This experience underscored the exceptional standards upheld by IWP within the field, and I am truly glad to have been a part of something so impactful.

Although my background is not in national security, I would recommend this internship to anyone looking to grow personally and professionally. As an intern, I had the privilege of participating in lecture lunches hosted by esteemed faculty, exploring historically significant institutions in the area, and attending engaging public lectures.

In conclusion, my experience has not only equipped me with practical skills but also a deeper appreciation of the connection between communication and national security. I’m immensely grateful to IWP for this opportunity and eager to apply the knowledge gained in future endeavors.

Destiney Smith
Social Media Intern, Spring 2024
From the University of Maryland, College Park