Ted Dressel ’14
Major(s): International Studies
Internship Site: U.S. Army War College / PKSOI - Carlisle, PA
I first learned of this internship through friends that were doing this internship during the school year and then I researched it more thoroughly online at PKSOI’s website. The application package included the submission of a cover letter, resume, short writing sample, and two letters of recommendation. All application materials for this internship are submitted through DickinsonConnect.
During my internship, I worked on developing Combined Arms Training Strategies (CATS) and supporting education/training material to increase the Army’s capability to do economic development tasks during stability operations. For the development of the CATS, I had to be well versed in Army doctrine for stability operations; each part of my CATS had to be founded in Army doctrine. It was great to merge academic research and material from other government agencies to enhance the US Army’s capability for conducting stability operations.
The most challenging part of the internship was reconciling Army doctrine on economic development tasks with what, from my research, I thought should be done. I worked with an economics professor (former colonel) to discuss these issues. I plan to ask the professor to assist me in writing an article explaining my position so that it may be considered during the manual’s next re-writing. From this experience, I learned that working in bureaucracies is often complicated and slow-moving. Changes (even relatively small ones) require approval and creation from the top of the bureaucracy. This experience also taught me the value of close-reading of texts which I used to find implicit support for my argument in current doctrine and field practices.
Several of my classes helped me prepare for this internship. My economics courses (Introduction to Micro- and Marco- Economics, Intermediate Microeconomics, and The Global Economy) prepared me for the technical aspects of economic development. Additionally, my Introduction to International Relations and U.S. Foreign Policy courses gave me an understanding of the theories and policies that influenced the nature of my project.
This internship has linked me to people who are in the career fields I am interested in; it allowed me to build relationships with supportive people who will provide references for the future; and it has given me an introduction to the interagency nature that the government is heading in. It has also put me in contact with people and resources that will be useful during my research projects senior year.
Tips from Ted:
Apply for multiple internships; it is great to have options for the summer when the end of April comes. Look for something that you are interested in or closely related to it. Look at some of the staff profiles and see if there is anyone in your perspective career field. Doing an internship there can be a great networking opportunity and you will get a lot of get information and insight into the field.
*To find out more about how to get an internship, make an appointment with a career counselor. Just call the Career Center at 717-245-1740 or stop by Biddle House.