My name is Alicia Vignali, I am a bachelor’s student in Political Science at the University of Amsterdam, and I decided to apply to the WPS internship at the HCSS to better understand through professional experience the field I aspire to work in. Originally from Belgium and France, I grew up in an open and international environment, which naturally shaped my ambitions to study the global dynamics I had been introduced to from abroad. As I landed in the Netherlands, I quickly missed the southern sun. The closest thing available to me in Amsterdam was to embark on a journey of regional study with the minor: Middle Eastern studies. This virtual journey to the Middle East gave me the necessary knowledge to understand the tasks in the WPS project. But, most importantly, it nurtured my interest in environmental and resource-related challenges in the MENA region. Evidently, the WPS project, where I would study water-conflict dynamics in Iraq, was a perfect fit as it lies at the intersection of all my interests.
What I like about the WPS project is the integrated approach we have when looking at the water-conflict nexus. Central to it is its engagement with local partners, organisation of dialogues, and translation of our research into implementable and pragmatic knowledge that serves policy-making in Iraq. Consequently, the tasks and responsibilities vary from conducting a literature search and proofreading briefs to supporting meetings and organising events. I appreciate in my day-to-day as a WPS intern that I have both ad-hoc tasks and long-term projects, making my days very versatile and enabling the development of various competencies.
As a WPS intern, you are an integral part of HCSS; hence you also benefit from the rich and intellectually stimulating atmosphere. You are quickly given responsibilities and many opportunities to attend exciting events with guest speakers and engage in discussions with experts. Alongside other motivated and interesting interns, this makes the HCSS stimulating and inspiring. In sum, I am convinced that the HCSS offers the perfect environment to discover what it is like to work in security studies think tank and grow professionally and personally.
If you are interested in applying for the HCSS general internship programme, visit the HCSS Jobs and Internship page!