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NATO/W&M: A unique internship opportunity

  • Mitchell Reiss
    Mitchell Reiss  The College's vice provost for international affairs calls the NATO internship an opportunity that is unique for William and Mary undergraduates.  
  • Neil Riley
    Neil Riley  A 2007 NATO intern, Riley said, "you're thrown in right away, and you have real work to do."  
  • Jed Talvacchia
    Jed Talvacchia  "This is not a copy, collate internship," said Talvacchia, who served as a NATO intern.  
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Note: Students interested in participating in this exclusive William and Mary internship are encouraged to attend an information session on Friday, Aug. 29, at either 11:30 a.m. or 1p.m. in the York room of the Sadler Center. Deadline to apply is Sept. 7.

For eight weeks every summer, a few select William and Mary students live out every international relations major’s dream. As participants in an extraordinary internship, they get to work at the U.S. Mission to NATO.

“The William and Mary internship at U.S. headquarters in Brussels for NATO is unique,” said Vice Provost for International Affairs Mitchell Reiss. “No other undergraduate institution in the country has this opportunity.”

Three to five rising seniors represent the College at the U.S. Mission each year. Depending on individual interests and experience, they are placed in the Office of Public Affairs, the Armament Cooperation Division, the Office of the Political Advisor the Defense Operations & Plans Division or the Office of the U.S./EU Defense Advisor.

Selected students are given high levels of responsibility; duties range from monitoring press wires to compiling research to writing briefs for the ambassador. “You’re thrown in right away, and you have real work to do,” said Neil Riley ‘08, who worked in summer ’07. His fellow intern, Jed Talvacchia ’08, agreed that “this is not a copy, collate internship.”

The exclusive William and Mary/NATO program was developed by College alumna Barbara Pate Glacel ’70 and her husband Bob, who works for the U.S. Mission, in conjunction with Reiss, the Reves Center for International Studies and the Career Center. Since its inception in 2005, the College has sent 13 interns to Brussels.

“This is just an extraordinary opportunity for our students,” said Reiss, “and they all come back extremely excited and deeply appreciative of the opportunity.”