Bond University student gains insight into think tank world of policy and academia at Woodrow Wilson International Center For Scholars

"The WII program has facilitated an unparalleled adventure, filled with intellectual stimulation, networking opportunity and immersion into the DC culture. 

This semester I am interning at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Wilson Center devotes itself to engaging intellectuals in thoughtful, productive and unexplored debate; therefore through the internship I have been given insight into the think tank world of policy and academia. As a research assistant, I work closely with two of the most incredible senior scholars, exploring the intersection between terrorist recruitment with 1st amendment rights and America’s trade agreements. Both topics have given me the unique opportunity to explore issues that braid together both of my areas of study: law and International Relations. As a non-partisan institute the Wilson Center has the ability to host a number of events per day, usually panel debates, informative lectures, or addresses by notable speakers. Having the opportunity to attend these events and listen to topics I would otherwise never have understood or explored, has been invaluable and is my favorite aspect of the internship. 

The classes I am undertaking at WII have been an instrumental part of the experience. The Internship Seminar is aimed at creating the professional you. This semester we have undertaken informational interviews, discussed current news and issues, and explored topics such as salary negotiation and professional social media. All of the assessment tasks and class engagements are equipping us with the necessary skills for ‘the real world’. The second class, International Foreign Policy Studies, combines a mixture of theoretical based discussion, improvised debates, National Security Council simulations, notable guest speakers and think tank visits. This unique approach to the course material is really effective and engaging, as it forces you to think about the issues through a number of interpretations and avenues. 

Each weekend I look forward to days filled with yoga, cafes, strolls through neighborhoods and markets - Union Market being a particular favorite - and of course the occasional tourist indulgence (I would feel almost guilty leaving the nation’s capital without making my way through the extensive list of monuments and ‘must sees’). In particular Georgetown, with its charisma and relaxed atmosphere, quickly secured a very deserving spot on my list of DC favorites - although I will concede, any place playing home to Chaia and Baked and Wired will by default have a spot on the list!"

Kathryn Randle, Bond University, Spring 2016 Intern at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars