Senior, Noah Shoudy completed an internship with the US Naval War College based out of Newport, Rhode Island. Read on to learn about his experience!
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What was your internship? My internship was research-based to find information for my site supervisor to plan and conduct course teachings for U.S. military officers. This took place at the US Naval War College
Why were you initially interested in this internship? I have always been interested in the military and, with my degree in international relations, it was the perfect combination to study past and present political/military events and analyze them in a military context.
How did you find your internship? After IR Professor Kugler informed me about the internship, I had to do some digging to actually get the internship. There is no website to find it, so I emailed human resources at the USNWC and they directed me from there.
What did you do as part of your internship? I was a research assistant for the duration of my internship, looking at both past and present events. My main task was to analyze both the fall of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War and then the fall of Kabul, which happened in 2021. Both share uncanny similarities and I analyzed why and how they failed, what led to the failures, and I gave insight into what should be done in the future based on these two evacuations and others that were successes. Additionally, I had other short-term jobs, such as finding specific information regarding the Chinese Military, reviewing course material, and anything else that related to my professor’s needs.
Has this internship helped you work towards your future career goals? If so, how? This internship has certainly helped me work towards my future career goals because it allowed me to study military analysis, which is something I would like to pursue. I did not work with anyone in the military, but the work done at the USNWC is used by the U.S. military for strategy and future operations. The school is designed to prepare the military for current and future military events, so knowing that my research would be used to teach officers was exciting and rewarding.
What was your biggest lesson/takeaway from the internship? My biggest takeaway from the internship is how inefficient the bureaucracy of the U.S. government can be. I applied at the end of June and, despite reaching out for updates, did not begin until the end of September, which limited how much time I was able to spend there. On the research side, I learned just how much goes into military planning and how important it is to study every aspect of an event and analyze any and all possibilities that occur.
What advice would you give to someone interested in a similar internship opportunity? Apply early and get this internship. If you are looking into the military field and want to heighten your analytical skills in regards to military events and operations, this is the best way to get a taste for the type of research you could do.