The beginning of the end- My internship at CHDS

The beginning of the end- My internship at CHDS

This will effectively be my last full week at the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. Despite trying to keep them updated on my whereabouts, I find myself constantly answering the simple question my family and loved ones periodically ask me -- “what exactly are you doing in Washington?” Apart from my TWC obligations: class, international affairs programming, my civic engagement project and the never ending list of events that take place at the RAF, my internship site is where most of the action takes place. I can group my internship activities into three major sections: 1) Research assistant role 2) NDU/CHDS activities 3) DC action.


1) I cherish my role as a research assistant. I get the unique opportunity to help the professors at my center with research, writing, editing, and analyzing information on their topics of expertise. I find it extremely rewarding to work with professors at NDU who are internationally renowned experts in their fields, with many who have served in the military in the U.S. and other countries on the American continent. The projects I worked on were varied but they were all highly specialized and mostly dealt with the topics of security, defense and international cooperation.


2) CHDS is ultimately part of the NDU community and the perks of that fact are many. Throughout the semester I have attended a forum on women in peace and security, a symposium on China's engagement in Southeast Asia, and a talk with the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, just to name a few. While acting as a greeting escort to the attendees for conferences, I have experienced some amazing moments, like personally meeting the U.S. Southern Commander, General Kelly. CHDS constantly keeps me on my toes, with its guests brought in from the Western Hemisphere for the courses offered to weekly brown bag lunches for the interns by our professors.


3) While my internship site is a federal government office, under the umbrella of the Department of Defense, and I spend a lot of time in the office, I also get the flexibility to attend all of the amazing events that specifically interest me during the work hours. In just one semester, these events have allowed me to visit the Organization of American States, the World Bank, and the Embassy of Mexico.


It is my hope that this brief overview has been a more accurate description than "my internship is amazing!" or "I'm learning so much!" It's hard to believe that the semester draws to a close and I will soon find myself returning to my home institution. For now, I've got a whole week ahead at work and I plan, as always, to make the most of it.


Internship Team at CHDS


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