The Patterson School encourages all our students to consider internships as a means to enhance their exposure to career opportunities, learn valuable skills, increase networking, and further develop their resumes.
In contrast to some of our sister programs at other universities, however, internships are not formally required. We recognize some students have already obtained extensive professional experience before entering our program - with prior internships or regular employment - and understand their time may be spent more valuably elsewhere, such as with further language study, elective coursework or study/travel abroad.
Furthermore, we do not offer course credit for internships. The reasoning behind this is two-fold: first, it can enable students to be more flexible in the experiences they seek; second, it saves our students money since they are not required to be registered (and pay tuition) for the summer term. Our view is that the experience is what is most valuable, not academic "credit."
The overwhelming majority of Patterson School students pursue internships and our program has an exceptional track record of landing highly competitive, prestigious positions. In fact, many of our graduates view their internship experience as one of the highlights of their graduate education; for some it opened the door to life-long employment.
Recent Patterson School students interned at US diplomatic missions in Addis Ababa, Dakar, Singapore, Vilnius, Brussels, The Hague, Paris, and Skopje; in Tokyo at the German Embassy and Beijing at the UK Embassy; in the Canadian Parliament and the Asamblea Legislativa de Costa Rica; with non-governmental organizations in Chile, Honduras, Nicaragua, Romania, Switzerland, Kenya, Rwanda, India, and Cambodia; with multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, International Organization for Migration, African Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.
A large number of students also undertook internships in Washington at the Departments of State, Commerce, Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security; as well as with Congress, OPIC and CIA. Others spread across the United States with business organizations (such as Alltech, Big Ass Fans, Northrop Grumman, Southern US Trade Association, World Trade Centers), NGOs (Sister Cities, Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Transparency International, Council of State Governments, Open Society Institute) and government. In 2010 and 2011, Patterson School students were also selected to be among the 26 graduate participants in the Director of National Intelligence's new National Security Analyst International Intelligence Seminar in Washington, DC.
Students seeking to improve their language abilities over the summer attended Middlebury's Summer Language Institute, and the language institutes at Indiana University and the University of Wisconsin; others studied overseas in venues as varied as China, Japan, Korea, and Egypt.