Sarah Kaster, NPTS ’19

START (National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism) & US Department of State

The internship that I had with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) this summer was a wonderful opportunity to develop my professional skillset and build upon my knowledge of the challenges facing national security.

START provides a very intern friendly atmosphere. This internship was different from previous internships because of how much the staff and researchers helped provide resources to the interns. For example, all interns were allowed the opportunity to take foreign language lessons through the summer in addition to attending enrichment sessions. These enrichment sessions consisted of career profile sessions of professionals and agencies in the national security field, lectures from researchers at START, book talks, and counterterrorism training sessions. Additionally, the START supervisors provided us with a free trip to the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. at the end of the semester where we had the opportunity to attend a private lecture with the museum’s Executive Director. I recommend a START internship to anyone in the Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies Program (NPTS) at MIIS who is passionate about terrorism studies and counterterrorism. The summer internships are usually posted on the START website in January, however there is also the option to intern for them throughout both the fall and spring semester.

Not only did this internship provide me with many opportunities to learn about the subject of terrorism, but it also allowed me to gain more insight into my own career trajectory. I realized how much I love studying the subject, and gained confidence in my ability to be an asset to the national security field. I will share my experience with my peers at Middlebury.

“This was the day of our final presentation at the State Department.”

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