Drew Wharton

Major: International Studies

Host Organization: U.S. Department of State

Location: Atlanta, GA

What made you choose your current major? 

I would like to work for the Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service, so majoring in international studies made sense.

How did you find your internship?

The Internship can be found through the USAJobs website under the category student intern.

Why did you want to do an internship?

This is the job that I would like to get after graduation, so it allowed me to get a look into the job and experience it firsthand. 

What did you do and what did you accomplish (above and beyond the basic job description) during this internship?

I was able to view many aspects of the job including the security of foreign diplomats, and investigations. I was offered opportunities to work on cases as a credentialed Special Agent would and to sit in on security meetings that took place with foreign diplomats and security advisers.  

What has been the most valuable or favorite part of your experience?

I have learned a good number of skills and I have been able to get the experience of working in the field with cases and security. 

What was the most challenging aspect of your experience?

This was a fun experience but the logistics of cases and the problems that arise with security are astonishing. I did not realize how hard it was to provide protection for someone when they are just visiting a city. 

How will this internship help you in the real world and with your future career goals?

I am hoping that the experience that I gained during this internship will help me acquire a job in the law enforcement field after graduation. 

What advice would you give other students related to finding an internship or how to make the best use of the internship?

Do not halfway do an internship. You are there to learn and if you are just waiting around to go home and are not trying to learn and gain experience, than it is not worth doing. The people who are helping you at the internship have already been through the process and have been doing it longer than you have, so you should take advantage of the opportunity and learn from their experience. 

Were you asked to come back or offered a position?

I was offered a position to come back, but I would have to reapply for the program. I think the connections I made will help me in the application process though.