This past summer I embarked on one of the greatest journeys of my entire life: I was able to work for the US Intelligence Community. The Intelligence Community itself consists of many governmental organisations, such as the CIA and FBI. Each and every organisation works towards a common goal of trying to solve prospective world problems. Unfortunately, the community on the whole is lacking in ideas for how to do so.
Different areas of the Intelligence Community focus on different aspects of the same issue. So although figuring out a solution may seem easy, it most likely requires a multilateral approach by members of many different agencies. As a result, I was given a different assignment to complete every couple of weeks. Each intern was either given an analyst job or a liaison job. In both cases, individuals were able to connect with professional members of the Community and to further their knowledge of the issue to which they were assigned. The areas that I mainly focused on were Syria and Egypt. Every section had its experts, and for each individual project I was able to work with individuals who professionally focused on these areas in the Middle East.
In each area that I was involved in, I was able to directly work with individuals who were very interested in their prospective projects. I was able to contribute to the Intelligence Communities Pinterest page, and I am still partly involved with the posting of various types of information on to the page. Whether or not you ultimately choose to apply for a virtual or in-office internship, I would definitely recommend it. Interning builds up your networking skills and contacts, and in today’s professional climate, networking is often the basis of professional advancement. So take the chance to explore internships – especially those that are perhaps wholly new experiences and areas of expertise – because, who knows, you might end up really liking it.
Photo: Maria Faciolince