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Thread: I'm trying to get an internship at NDU

  1. #1
    Council Member Kevin23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Washington DC

    Default I'm trying to get an internship at NDU

    Hi everyone I haven't posted here on SWC for a while. Because it's summer and I'm not in school I should have more to post.

    However, I had a couple of questions about an internship I'm applying for.

    I'm convenient to Ft. McNair since I live in the Washington DC area. Due to this, I've decided to up the chance to apply for an internship at the National Defense University there. I was planning on applying to all the various colleges & centers there to see what I come up with in the end it's very competitive.

    What's it like being an intern at NDU; I hear it's a pretty good gig as they assign you to work under a faculty member? Plus I hear Ft. McNair is a neat post in it's self?

    Additionally, has anyone on SWJ ever been an intern at NDU? If so what is the work like for an intern there? As they have been vague in getting across what type of work you are expected to do as an intern?

    If anyone has any perspectives or suggestions for me on this whole process I'd like to hear them.

    Thanks again as always to my fellow posters!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Zama, Japan

    Default A nice little post

    I can't speak to the NDU internship, but I worked on Fort McNair for several years. It's a nice, quiet installation. Presidents HW Bush and Clinton regularly went there to jog. Some will tell you that the local neighborhood is not so great, but I went running off the installation almost every day and never had any difficulties (it's an easy jog to the Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin). It's relatively easy to drive to and there is a Metro stop (Waterfront) about a half mile away. It's a green and pleasant piece of DC.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Great internship opportunity

    As a former NDU intern at the Institute for National Strategic Studies I can say that the experience was absolutely worthwhile. Interns have the opportunity to work in conjunction with a senior fellow and have even finished with a publication to their credit at the end of their semester.

    From my experience at INSS, and I have heard similarly positive things from most of the other regional centers, I can say that the vast majority of time is spent conducting actual research. A much smaller portion of time is consumed with "intern" duties.

    In terms of applying, at least to INSS, it is important to have a specific regional focus or issue in mind and to match that up with one of the senior fellows' area of expertise. (cover letter is CRUCIAL) You can find the full list of fellows and their backgrounds on the INSS website.

    Also, I can echo the previous poster that it is a quiet installation, though some very influential people come through from time to time. It may not be in the hustle and bustle of the Hill to K St area, but it isn't far and you will definitely have access to that world.

    Finally, one of the strrongest points about the internship for me was the collegial atmosphere of the entire organization. It was very friendly and I was made to feel like my opinion actually carried some weight. The general atmosphere of the whole INSS intern cohort was equally collegial and we often spent time together after hours, though that was during a summer session; it may be different when people are in school.

    Hope this was helpful!

  4. #4
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Belly of the beast


    Hmmm. Well I am at National Defense University as a faculty in the Information Resources Management College. We have about dozen interns that work in our program on various faculty projects, but most of our interns are also pretty technical. As a faculty member my experience is slightly different, but I would say the environment is spectacular, various events really push the envelope. The POTUS, and various other entities are on our campus regularly.

    Currently NDU (along with all JPME) is defining the role they will be playing in the future. So many of the centers are scrambling to prove what they do. That is both good and bad. The scrambling means they have lots to do, but the bad thing is the they are in survival mode. Still those are issues for the future. Packages and materials are all important when applying. It is pretty late to be applying this year but I'd say go ahead and try. I do know that last year there were some issues getting interns paid, but had no visibility into those issues.

    Just to scope the opportunity if you want to work with the former and current leadership of the largest military on the planet NDU is your best shot. I know that several interns have turned the NDU internship into pretty nice gigs in other institutions.
    Sam Liles
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