Internships in Foreign and Defense Policy: A Complete Guide for Women (& Men)

Internships in Foreign and Defense Policy: A Complete Guide for Women (& Men)

Internships in Foreign and Defense Policy: A Complete Guide for Women (& Men)

Internships in Foreign and Defense Policy: A Complete Guide for Women (& Men)

Excerpt

Women In International Security is an organization dedicated to supporting women in the traditionally male-dominated areas of foreign and defense policy. Its aims--among others--are to encourage more women to enter the field and to assist them in launching their careers. Successful careers require hard work, knowledge, and skills. But they also require contacts and a willingness to take advantage of opportunities. An internship early in a career can help an individual gain all of these.

As a women's group, WIIS feels there is a particular need for an internship directory especially directed toward women (of course, internships are valuable experiences for both men and women). While many legal obstacles to women's participation in the work force have fallen, many subtle barriers remain. Women, for example, may have to be especially well-informed and competent to be accepted as knowledgeable in their field. Often very qualified women are overlooked when speaking invitations and other valuable professional opportunities are brought up. This in turn makes it difficult to develop the credentials and public profile that can lead to promotion. Moreover, women--especially those just starting their careers--are often unaware of informal networks, rules, and procedures that may be important in a particular office or group. They may also find it difficult to develop a relationship with a mentor to explain this system, particularly if the pool of potential mentors is largely comprised of disinterested men.

Internships provide an opportunity to address these challenges. And, because the work environment for interns is usually relaxed, with everyone involved acknowledging the need for guidance, it is often easier to get some informal career counseling.

Internships in Foreign and Defense Policy lists approximately 80 organizations offering internships in the field of international security. While "international security" means different things to different people, states, and nations, for the purposes of this directory, WIIS has focused primarily on those institutions and organizations that are concerned with military or defense matters, foreign policy, and national policy and budget issues. An annotated bibliography is included that describes other directories that cover broader subject areas. Most of the organizations listed are located in or near Washington, DC, but there are also a number located in New York, Boston, and Atlanta.

It is the hope of all those who have contributed to the directory--WIIS staff, sponsoring organizations, and publisher--that this book will fulfill its twin goals of providing useful and up-to-date information about a variety of organizations, and that it will encourage women to explore the field of international security. While the competition for internships in this area is . . .

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