I interned at the Institute for Politics and Society for three months as of February 2019. As a graduate student in area studies in Prague, I greatly appreciated the opportunities that were offered to me during this period.
Most importantly, I would like to underline the variety of tasks that one gets to do there, that are often connected to your personal interests and previous knowledge. One of the most important aspect of an internship is that it should help you transfer your theoretical skills into practical ones, and I believe this opportunity really did do that. I was able to use my knowledge on regional studies and international politics and transfer them into papers that were useful to the Institute. At the same time, I got to analyze topics and events that I knew very little about, and this gave me more confidence in my own research skills. Writing various kinds of papers also meant that I got used to work with a different writing style than the one required in academia, which is definitely a bonus! Moreover, my language skills were useful for translations and corrections. And all of this was possible while working in a very friendly environment, where you can always ask anyone for help and where the staff makes sure that you feel trusted with your responsibilities.
In a broader way, an internship at the Institute for Politics and Society allows to learn more about the way think-tanks work on an everyday basis, such as the different steps that have to be taken to prepare debates. One side of a job in such an organization that we tend to forget as students is the administrative one. We don’t learn how to perform this at university, yet it is still necessary for all the interesting debates to take place. Thus, while less interesting than other tasks, they were still rewarding.
In my case, I combined this internship with full-time studies. While managing my usual workload with internship duties was not always easy, it certainly proved me that I could manage getting out of my comfort zone and do more than what was simply required. Moreover, the Institute offers flexible hours (as well as working from home if you really need it) in case any problem arises. I truly appreciated that, especially as the only intern having classes throughout the week. Studying besides my internship meant that I was not always present when an (optional) event was taking place, yet I appreciated that the opportunity was given to us interns to participate to some private events at the Institute in addition to our usual tasks. I do feel like interning full-time/having a more flexible schedule provides more opportunities when taking this internship though, such as going to business breakfasts, about which I have always heard good things! Nevertheless, I was very glad that I got to assist in the Digital Czech Republic conference and helped to write reports afterwards. This was a very inspiring experience.
All in all, I highly recommend any student interested in the fields that the Institute for Politics and Society covers to apply for an internship, and I hope it will be an unforgettable and rewarding experience for you as it was for me!