Swimming in the Think Tank

Laura Zwerling '18 is using her internship experience to inform her career goals after graduation. She spent this summer as an events intern at the Atlantic Council.

Laura Zwerling '18, Atlantic Council


International studies.

Internship title:

Events intern for the Office of External Relations.

How I got this internship:

I got this internship by responding to a listing on a company website.

What I do, day to day:

I work with the events team to coordinate and support small- to large-scale events, maintain contact and RSVP lists and participate in preparing high-level correspondence.

Other internships:

I interned at the National Defense University's (NDU) Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies during fall 2016. I assisted NDU professors with research and worked with the program planning staff to execute seminars for military and government officials from the Near East South Asia region.

Most valuable part of this experience:

As interns, we're given real responsibility and treated as full members of the events team. I've gotten great hands-on experience coordinating events myself and assisting with events that include prominent speakers, such as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel. Through this experience, I've gained useful skills and learned what it's like to work for an international affairs think tank.

Advice for students considering internships:

Take advantage of professional development opportunities offered by your internship site. They can be really helpful for getting a better sense of what skills are necessary to succeed in your field of interest.

How this internship has helped me:

I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to work with great people, develop my skills in event coordination and learn about what goes on behind the scenes of a think tank. This experience has been very useful in preparing for life after college.

Post-Dickinson plans:

After I graduate, I hope to return to Washington, D.C., and begin a career in international affairs.

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Published August 28, 2017