I am a junior from Cato, NY studying political science and international relations with a concentration in international security & diplomacy and a regional focus on Asia. I interned for the Department of Defense, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, European and NATO Policy. NATO Policy works to craft the Defense Department's relations with our NATO Allies as well as to promote U.S. interests within the Alliance.
My internship went really well. I liked that every day I worked on issues that I heard about in the news a week later, and I was able to say that I helped make that happen. I also liked the exposure I got with so many high ranking U.S. and foreign government officials who shared their experiences with me. Something that surprised me is how incredibly complicated and time consuming it can be to coordinate a new policy across not only the entire U.S. Government, but even within the Pentagon itself.
Being around some incredibly experienced professionals and officials in the Pentagon definitely cemented my desire to live and work in Washington, D.C. Maxwell in D.C. gave me a glimpse into my future, and I didn't want to see the semester end! I met some incredible people here in D.C. that have offered advice on how to pursue my educational and career goals, and I have laid the groundwork for a network of professional contacts that will undoubtedly come in handy in the future. My long term career goal is to serve as a Foreign Service Officer in the Department of State. For now, I am focusing on going to graduate school for international affairs or possibly attending law school.
My favorite thing about D.C. is that you can find almost anything here to keep you busy and entertained. From taking a walk along the National Mall, to sitting in on congressional hearings on the Hill, to world class museums and sporting events, there's always something fun to be doing.
Future DC students: Make sure that you leave enough time in your schedule for yourself. Between my internship and a job, I work 52 hours per week, plus have classes to attend at night time. I definitely wish that I had made more time to go out and explore all that D.C. has to offer.