Jessica Budlong, Intern for Summer 2020
As an intern with the Center, you are actively contributing to the organization through research that interests you. Compared with other internships, the Center really encourages exploration and personal growth. During my time, I had the opportunity to contribute to the NDAA process and learned more about government budgets than I imagined possible. I learned about aspects of nuclear policy that I didn’t realize existed and had the opportunity to publish in relevant outlets. The ability to not only publish articles I was passionate about, but also have co-authored pieces made me grow as a writer and gave me more confidence going forward. This internship has helped launch so many careers through its flexible approach and its encouragement to grow within the field. If you’re looking for an engaging internship, even during COVID, the Center is the right place.
Zachary Glass, Intern for Summer 2020
My summer at the CACNP was a fantastic learning experience. The team is small and informal, so beyond getting to know everybody in the office quickly, I was given real work and lots of flexibility. In addition to helping on projects, I was also encouraged to research and write about whatever interested me. Even though everyone is insanely accomplished and determined, there was no divide between interns and full-time staff — my articles always received edits and got shopped out to publications, and I was encouraged to coauthor with my bosses. If you are impact-driven, interested in the nuclear policy world, and want to make lasting connections with awesome people, I can’t recommend the Center highly enough.
Isabel Martinez, Intern for Spring 2020
Interning with the Center gave me the opportunity to research and write in an environment where interns are valued and feel part of the team. I was able to explore my interest in the nuclear field by attending briefings hosted by our office, exposing me to different areas in nuclear policy. The nexus between nuclear weapons and climate change is a particular interest of mine, so the Center connected me with experts in the community.
While the unexpected interruption of COVID-19 required the office to move online, the Center staff continued to conduct my internship virtually, maintaining the same level of support and communication as if we were in the office. During this time, with help from the staff, I published articles for the Center blog. This internship experience allowed me to grow in my knowledge of nuclear weapons, surrounded by people who have a passion for this work.
“Interning with the Center was the best place to discover my interests in the nuclear field. I came to the Center focusing mostly on U.S. nuclear policy and how that affects other nations. After my internship, I came out with a deeper understanding of U.S. nuclear policy but also a strong interest in chemical and biological weapons. I was given the opportunity to grow as an individual and explore various research interests, while being able to speak with experts in the field. Being in the heart of DC, I was able to attend congressional hearings and think-tank events to build a network that I still maintain now that I’ve moved here permanently. Additionally, the connections made on the Hill are invaluable and can be used throughout your career in DC. This internship also gave me a glimpse into what the “real world” is like, and helped me consider if I wanted to live in DC for more than a summer. Having the opportunity to work with an organization without a long-term commitment is one of the best ways to determine what you want in the future. An internship with the Center gives you that opportunity while guiding you in your specific interests.”
“I never thought I would learn so much about nuclear policy in my life. I have spent so much time on deepening my understanding of the topic, but I have also learned a lot about politics and how important organizations like the Center are for making a change in the government. Working with the Center has given me a good feeling of what it is like working as a policy analyst, in general; it has also given me a look into what it is really like to work in policy in D.C. I would absolutely recommend this internship to others! I never thought that I would learn so much from an office setting or that I would enjoy working in an office so much. I have also really come to be exceedingly knowledgeable about nuclear politics in a way that I never thought I would; what made it even better was that I was able to develop my understanding and learn in a work environment and not a classroom. It was great to see what I was working on be actually used and not just be graded by a professor and set aside to not be seen ever again. Working on projects with the Center has been a way for me to learn and use what I have learned to teach others.”
“My favorite part of interning for the Center is a combination of spending time daily with the wonderful people working there and having the opportunity to attend a number of nuclear events in D.C. I feel that I gained a feel for the real world of policy analysis, as well as a very interesting look into how advocacy efforts are organized. I would definitely recommend this internship to others! I feel like I have a much more expansive understanding of complex nuclear policy issues than I did at the beginning of the internship. Unfortunately, we are at a very delicate place in terms of the nuclear security environment. Fortunately, all of these nuclear crises means that now is the best time to get involved in the field if you want to know that your work will make a real difference.”
“As an intern, I learned how to write in a way that is accessible to a wider audience and also how to digest scientific terms; in some ways it is like learning another language. It takes time, and that is one thing as an intern you have the luxury of doing. You can take the time to learn the scientific language of missile defense or the JCPOA, etc., and take that with you as you move to your next job. Managing short- and long-term projects along with the exposure to the Hill was invaluable. I think nothing can truly prepare you for the real world, but interning at the Center gave me the intellectual base I needed in order to succeed in the policy analysis world. I was able to learn so much through my internship at the Center and I think for anyone interested in foreign policy, it presents a unique opportunity to explore that interest at the intersection of research and politics. The Center allows you to research and explore your interests while also learning how those are applied in the “real world,” aka the Hill. This is a small community and any experience you can get in non-proliferation should be taken advantage of. Once you start in this field and start making connections, you can really explore the various facets and see where you would like to go post-graduation. And it’s much better to figure that out as an intern.”