Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated alumnae, Barbara Pate Glacel ’70, and her husband, Brigadier General (Retired) Robert Glacel, and the continued outstanding reputation of William & Mary students, each summer the College is able to offer several exclusive internships with the U.S. Mission to NATO (USNATO) in Brussels, Belgium.
USNATO offers a variety of internships each year, many of them filled by graduate students from across the country. William & Mary is unique in that not only does it have annual reserved placements for its students, but it is able to consistently send undergraduates to gain these same experiences.
“The W&M undergrads we send are of as high a caliber as graduate students from other universities,” says Wendy Webb-Robers, assistant director of the Cohen Career Center. “Year after year, our interns have demonstrated a high level of professionalism, which is why General Glacel was able to make the case that three interns should be reserved for us.”
Last summer’s interns, Nicky Bell ‘ 12, Eva Baker ’12, and Peter Klicker ’12, enjoyed working on a variety of tasks during their weeks in Brussels.
Baker interned in the Office of the Defense Advisor, which included sitting in on senior staff meetings, compiling information on areas of interest, attending briefings and international committee meetings, and working on research projects.
“I found the Department of Defense section very interesting and welcoming,” Baker said. “My favorite aspect of the internship was learning how the Mission reacted and responded to international events and NATO’s responsibilities on a day-to-day basis.
“It was fascinating to see how much work occurs completely behind the scenes, and I was pleased to see that the way we discuss issues in my international relations classes at William & Mary is on the right track for the actual field of international policy.”
Klicker spent his internship in the Programs Office of the Public Affairs section at USNATO.
“I had several different supervisors over the course of the internship, as the summer is a big time of transition for foreign service officers rotating in and out of NATO,” Klicker said.
“My main task for the summer consisted of arranging visits to NATO HQ by various groups. For each visit I organized a briefing series consisting of presentations from U.S. Mission and international staff employees on topics of interest to the group. I also sat in various committee meetings, such as the North Atlantic Council, to take notes and report back to the rest of the Public Affairs section. My final project of the summer consisted of writing a report on the effectiveness of a public affairs tour program in Afghanistan.”
Bell also worked in Public Affairs, but in the Press Office.
“I reported to the Deputy Public Affairs Adviser and his boss, the Public Affairs Adviser,” Bell said. “My tasks included producing the morning news report, which is sent to about 500 U.S. government officials each day, and also reviewing press conferences and speeches for policy announcements. I also assisted in drafting op-eds for the ambassador, arranging press visits to the Mission, and responding to research requests from Washington.”
Bell added, “Since my tasks were largely driven by the news cycle, each day was a little different, but always exciting and centered on short-term tasks.”
All three of the 2011 William & Mary NATO interns received Summer International Internship Scholarships from the Reves Center for International Studies to help defray the cost of undertaking these unpaid positions.
William & Mary students interested in learning more about upcoming USNATO internships should visit Tribe Careers. Applicants must be US citizens, and must be rising seniors or graduate students (interns must be returning to classes the semester following the internship). Selected applicants will need to possess a security clearance before beginning an internship. USNATO will initiate the security clearances for selected applicants.