What was a typical week like in your internship position?
Right now the internship is remote, so it’s a lot of time at my computer. In a typical week I spend most of my time using START’s research to add terrorist profiles to their SONAR codebook. I also attend virtual events that discuss the study of terrorism.
What did you enjoy most about the position?
I most enjoy exploring the topics that interest me most, which is domestic radicalization of the far-right. I especially enjoy having experts in the field engage me in these topics. In terms of engaging with experts in the field, first, I have my supervisors Sheehan Yates and Elizabeth Kane who are both researchers at START. I really got to interact with them on a personal level. Every Monday morning we would have group meetings where we would talk about terrorism events, and just generally chat. They were super responsive and we had a Slack channel that the interns were able to communicate through as well. They always gave personal feedback on the projects we were working on as well. They also brought in guest speakers who were all more than willing to share their information and continue the conversation.
How did your coursework help you in your internship?
My courses have helped me with my communication skills. BSST 327 class was really a great help. It is an introduction to terrorism class taught by Bill Braniff who is the Director at START. We had to present policy briefs which is a completely different style than the academic papers I’m used to. He gave me great feedback and I’ve been really utilizing those skills in my internship where I also had to present an oral brief on terrorism events. I find it’s a necessity to communicate well when presenting work you’ve done at an internship. It’s also helped me to ask the right questions so I get the most out of my experience.
How did you locate your internship position?
My internship is at START which is a research and education center based at the University of Maryland. I discovered the position through my minor program, which is also offered by START.
Advice for students:
My advice for applying to internships is to be persistent! This was not the first time I applied for this position at START. I advise to constantly be looking to improve your resume and CV.
The last thing I want to share is to not forget what made you excited about the internship! Ask lots of questions, make good connections, and try to have fun with it.