We recently spoke with M.A. candidate Jack Waterman about his experience at IWP and his work for the Office of Naval Intelligence. A transcript of the conversation may be found below.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Jack Waterman, and I am a second-year Strategic Intelligence Studies major. I work as a junior analyst for the Office of Naval Intelligence.
How did you end up at ONI?
IWP helped me get the internship that I am in right now because of its sterling reputation in the national security community and also my experiences in the Navy. I have operational experience in the Naval service combined with academic experience at the school here, and I’m excited to continue in that line of work.
Has IWP influenced your work at ONI?
My time at IWP has influenced my work because it has reinforced some of the principles and values that I’ve held dear to my heart when it comes to service to the nation, the foundational principles of the United States, and the Western moral tradition largely. The school has reinforced and also given me a greater appreciation on a national security level for those values and concepts that I adhere to and am most close with.
What class is currently the most relevant to your job?
The class I find most pertinent to my work has been Maritime Strategy and Great Power Competition, which is a new class at the school, but it directly correlates on an unclassified level with the type of work that I engage in at the Office of Naval Intelligence.
What has been the most challenging aspect of IWP?
The most challenging of IWP or graduate studies within this type of field is the constant amount of reading, research, and writing papers. Nearly every single class requires you to write a decent amount. The length of the writing is never too bad. But it’s constant, so every class has a pretty sturdy and steady writing requirement.
Do you have any advice for undergraduates interested in national security careers?
I would advise an undergraduate to go to a school like IWP because there are very firm foundational principles that the school teaches its students that are valuable to anybody pursuing national security because it all begins with the Constitution, it comports with the rule of law, with ancient philosophy, and also modern-day strategy and strategic thinking, planning, and operations.
It spans the gamut of things that will prepare you, at least on an intellectual level, to be able to make large decisions for whatever you do in national security or the private sector if that is what you choose to do.
The beauty of a school like this is it doesn’t teach you what to think; it teaches you how to think.