Month: July 2019

Advice for Future Interns

Thanks to the Dickinson grant I have been able to take advantage of key intern experiences like grabbing lunch with coworkers, attending policy briefings and networking after work hours. I would advise future interns to make use of the resources your school has to offer, as many schools allocate money for internship support. As far as internship opportunities for students interested in foreign policy, I would recommend looking into to think tanks, agencies, U.S. State Department and other government internships.

Advice for future interns:

  • Apply early– Some deadlines for competitive internships are as early as the fall. 

  • Use your connections– Don’t be afraid to reach out to people in your network, many professionals are more than happy to offer career advice and help young people interested in their field of work. 

  • Treat your internship like a real job– Regularly check in with your supervisor and ask to take on more projects if you feel things at work are slowing down. 

  • Take notes– Carry a notebook everywhere, ask questions and write down everything!

Last week I attended an AFPC-hosted briefing series for Congressional Staff in the House and Senate, featuring presentations by experts in defense technology. I also had the opportunity to visit the National Museum of the American Indian and learn about Carlisle’s dark history with its Indian Industrial School. Some other recent highlights include meeting with scholars at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), talking to former foreign service officers, and visiting the Holocaust Memorial Museum and Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden. 

Halfway Point

Halfway through my internship and it has been an eventful past few weeks. I attended conferences, networking events, museums and more. Some highlights include:

  • Attending a conference on U.S.-Ukrainian Relations at the University Club
  • Celebrating World Refugee Day at the Kennedy Center
  • Meeting with the Director of Admissions at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  • Visiting the National Museum of African-American History and Culture
  • Touring the United States Capitol Building

Throughout my time in D.C. I am learning the importance of networking and interpersonal skills. I interviewed my boss this week about his career path and to get advice on working in the policy community. He stressed the value of internships, publications and explained to me the pros and cons of public sector versus private sector jobs. I am building relationships with the seven other interns I work beside and with the senior fellows at the organization. The biggest takeaway from the interview was understanding the role of think tanks in the policymaking community. I have been learning how think tanks operate and where their funding comes from. Finally, I was listed as an editor for AFPC’s monthly publication, the Global Islam Monitor. I have attached the link below.


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