Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Center for Strategic & International Studies

Spring 2021

Position: Reserach Intern
Major:  International Relations & Global Studies / Latin American Studies Senior
Name: Leonardo Di Bonaventura Altuve


CSIS is the perfect place for those students interested in international relations, political science, economics, history, and regional studies. The mission of this think tank is to shape the foreign-policy debate in Washington, D.C. in areas of national security. This is not restricted to traditional security matters. CSIS influences other policy areas, such as climate change, democracy and human rights, development and trade, technology and science, and it also specializes in different areas of the world (Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe). Finally, the analysis and recommendations offered by CSIS are independent, bi-partisan, and based on evidence.

I found the internship through the company’s website. The application process is relatively straightforward, and I highly recommend getting assistance from Liberal Arts Career Services for the resume, cover letter, and later interview stages. They will make this process much easier and increase the chances of getting an offer.

As a research intern, I worked for the Americas Program, but my major focus was the Future of Venezuela Initiative (FVI). There are three areas where interns help in: research, administrative, and projects. The bulk of the internship will be on the first two. Providing high-quality research, analyses, and clear writing is vital in the day-to-day tasks of an intern. It is also important for interns to be informed and knowledgeable of what is going on in the region/country/area they specialize in.  Interns most of the time get the opportunity to publish their own pieces. Then, in the administrative pillar, interns are required to attend weekly meetings and sometimes take notes. There are a lot of private and public events going on, so CSIS counts with interns to attend these, take notes, and if necessary, do extra research on some specifics of the event. Finally, the projects pillar is mostly managed by senior staff, but interns have at occasions to help with areas of the project. I found this last pillar very useful for COLA students as it will advance one’s problem-solving skills!

My favorite thing about the internship was its people. I cannot overstate how much they want and can help you succeed. The network that your supervisors and other senior staff have is very extensive, and they are always happy to help you get places you want to get to. Whether you want to transition to other think tank or firm, or go to graduate school, CSIS members will find you the right person to talk to and sometimes even send your resume over to those employers you’re interested in working for. All of this really made me appreciate CSIS, not only as a place to grow professionally but also personally.

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