By Sarah Harvey, CIB Analyst |
On Wednesday, February 10, the National Security Club at Coastal Carolina University held a meeting focused on students in the Intelligence and National Security Studies (INSS) program who have recently completed internships. Internships are the new staple of the Intelligence program, offering an opportunity for INSS students to apply the knowledge acquired in the classroom, but also to establish important contacts outside of Coastal Carolina University.
Three of the speakers at Wednesday’s forum, Samuel Gordon, Amanda Corona, and Diana Evans, are members of the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief. All three completed their internships in a variety of environments. Gordon, a CIB member, completed his internship with the Office of International Affairs in the Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC. Corona, an analyst in the
CIB’s Middle East Section, completed an internship with the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Washington, DC. Evans, who serves as CIB’s Communications Officer, accomplished an internship with the Drug and Body Task Force of the Massachusetts State Police. Lastly, Tyler Arnott, a CIB Americas analyst, who also serves as Executive Director of the National Security Club, recently completed an internship with the office of Congressman Joe Wilson
Arnott commented, “In an increasingly competitive world I believe that it is crucial for students to take full advantage of the many opportunities that are available. One of these opportunities would be obtaining an internship and applying the practical skills that have been taught in classrooms. When a student applies these skills in a workforce environment, it does more than just build up the resume; it builds the student’s confidence and allows them to develop faster in their desired skill set. The National Security Club believes that, by sharing students’ internship experiences with other students, it will provoke them to take action and apply for their own internships.”
Gordon, Corona, and Evans all reported positive experiences gained through their internships, and were honored to be able to share their newly acquired knowledge with other students. When asked of the significance of presenting at the meeting, Gordon explained: “I think speaking at the NSC meeting was important because I wanted to share my amazing internship experience with students who may be interested in having the same experience I had. By completing my internship, I grew not only professionally, but mentally and personally. The experience truly changed my life and I would not be the person I am today without completing my internship. I would hope that every student has the opportunity that I had.”
Corona, who spent the entire summer in Washington, DC, for her internship, said she felt it was important that students like her spoke at the meeting. “I feel a majority of INSS students, particularly the younger ones, believe that the only valuable internships are those in the intelligence community […] or at least that’s how I felt. However, being able to intern at the Embassy of Iraq gave me insight and understanding of Iraq and the Iraqi people that I wouldn’t have gained had I continued to observe the region from the American perspective. The Embassy held me to a
higher standard and I had to show that I was capable of providing analysis of a situation. This analysis would be read by a foreign government which forced me to push myself to meet their expectations, and I did. Overall, I think finding an internship that coincides with your interest is essential, whether it be in the intelligence community or not. It gives you the opportunity to see what you are made of, push yourself to the limits, and demonstrate full capability of performing in a professional setting.”
In contrast to the first two experiences, Evans experienced a more domestic internship that focused immensely on intelligence at a local level. “It was important to me to present because I wanted other students to know there are options for internships at the local level as well that relate to the Intelligence and National Security major. These internships can be obtained through personal network connections which many people don’t even think of when applying. Most people go straight to federal government internships such as the CIA, and FBI. My internship meant to me was that it opened my eyes to the world of human intelligence collection on the local level that shares many of the same problems that the federal intelligence community faces. I learned that this confirms my desire to work on the national level, not the state level despite my overall amazing experience.”
With gratitude, each CIB member conveyed a positive encounter with the NSC. The CIB also expressed appreciation for the invitations to present. For more valuable presentations, join the NSC, which meets the second Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in EHFA 248.