How will this experience help you in your job search and career?
Prior to starting this internship, I did not have any formal experience working on counterterrorism issues. This internship has given me exposure to people who are working in the field, as well as helped me gain a better understanding of the causes of terrorism. The project that I am working on gives me the opportunity to conduct in-depth research on a region of the world that I knew very little about, which has been an interesting experience. I have also learned more about the various methods that states around the world use to combat terrorism and prevent terrorist groups from carrying out attacks. In addition to the specific project that I am working on, START provides many enrichment opportunities for their interns to learn about counterterrorism and hear from people who are currently working in the field of national security.
Besides being a great learning experience, my internship at START will help me further develop my network. I go into work every day and am surrounded by many people who are also just starting out their careers in this field. It has been great getting to know the other interns, and I look forward to another two months of becoming closer with them as we continue to work together. START recognizes the importance of networking and the internship coordinators organize weekly events to help the interns get to know each other.
How does your internship sponsor or agency contribute to the mission of national security?
START works on research and projects that various government agencies use on a regular basis. The Global Terrorism Database that START created is the world’s largest unclassified database of terrorism attacks from 1970 through the present; it is a valuable open-source tool that anyone can access. In addition to the other publications that START regularly publishes, the organization works on ad hoc projects for the government throughout the year. The researchers at START have extensive experience in counterterrorism, both as academics and practitioners, and bring their valuable insights to challenges that the government faces. Additionally, START serves as a training ground for the next generation of counterterrorism experts. The organization’s robust internship program gives many students valuable experience and encourages them to pursue careers in this field.
Why did you choose this particular country/internship?
I first heard about START during the fall semester, when one of my friends interned there. She had nothing but great things to say about it and highly recommended that I apply to intern there for the summer. After doing more research on the organization, I found that interning there would be a great way to spend the summer. START’s internship program is perfect for someone like me who has not yet had any formal experience in counterterrorism; the internship is a great way to gain practical experience while learning the basics about terrorism. After one month down, I am looking forward to what the rest of the summer brings.