USA: Canaan Odeh

A man in a Wisconsin Political Science T-shirt with his hands in a W shape standing in front of a building with a green tree in the background
Outside the United Methodist Building where we had classes

Program: Wisconsin in Washington, DC Internship Program, Fall

Canaan’s Major: Political Science, Middle East Studies certificate

Describe your internship and how it has helped advance your career or studies. 

I interned at the American Foreign Policy Council, a bi-partisan, nonprofit think tank. My research studies were focused on the Middle East and North Africa region. I was able to utilize research skills, historical knowledge, and language skills to write memos for my team to use for their books and website publications. We also had guest speakers from the National Security Agency, Congress, State Department, and many other agencies which were helpful as we explored career options. These components of my internship helped advance my career studies by exposing me to the various possibilities of public and private work in Washington D.C. It also helped me decide that D.C would be a future home for me.

What was your most memorable experience?

I really valued the small cohort size both within my program and at my internship. I was able to develop meaningful relationships with my peers as we had different strengths, areas of expertise, etc. Our cooperation allowed us to apply and complement our skills together in order to create a memorable program experience. I’m really thankful for that because it taught  me the importance of having good relationships in the workplace and beyond that.

A group of students wearing face masks with Congressman Mark Pocan
WisPolitics Event with Congressman Mark Pocan

How were the program academics similar or different from taking classes at UW-Madison?

My academics in Washington, D.C. were noticeably different from the classes I took at UW-Madison. In D.C., I engaged with high-level professionals who worked in the Foreign Service, United Nations, Congress, and other prestigious institutions. As guest speakers, they shared their wisdom and directly connected our class content to current U.S. Foreign Policy and Congressional issues. Those opportunities aren’t common in Madison, which made this program very valuable.

My internship helped advance my career studies by exposing me to the various possibilities of public and private work in Washington D.C.