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Internships are a key factor in post-graduation success. Taking a look at many employee success stories reveals this, with most saying the same thing: an internship helped them get their current job. Thankfully for Christendom students, the school is close to Washington, D.C., and its bevy of internship opportunities have resulted in a number of students scoring summer internships. One of those students is senior Shane McCrum, who is currently putting knowledge gained in political science courses to good use at the National Defense University.

National Defense University (NDU), located at Fort McNair in D.C. is a premier educational location in our nation’s capital, focused on developing joint warfighters and other national security leaders through rigorous academics, research, and engagement. McCrum, a history major, first discovered the internship at NDU during this past academic year and eventually applied for it. Better yet, he ended up being selected above the competition for the internship. Now, McCrum is part of the International Student Management Office, an important role that is helping him learn new skills.

McCrum is interning at National Defense University this summer.

“Working at NDU, I get a chance to see American foreign policy in action,” says McCrum. “Though I am a history major, my courses in political science, specifically international relations, have helped me to understand the different dynamics between nations and what America’s goal is in world politics.”

In his role, McCrum works to assist international fellows from all over the world, helping to integrate the students within university programs. These students come from partner countries and allies to learn about American military strategy, and McCrum works to make that goal as attainable as possible for them. He assists in enabling their academic success, creates opportunities for them to foster rapport with American classmates, and provides opportunities for them to develop a firsthand knowledge of the U.S., its people, institutions, way of life, and commitment to principles of internationally recognized human rights. After a year, the students return to their countries with a better knowledge and appreciation of America. The second part of McCrum’s job then comes into play: maintaining good relations with them after they graduate.

The work is gratifying, building McCrum’s communication skills and increasing his circle of contacts as well. He believes his time at Christendom gave him a leg up in this regard, helping him to do his role even more effectively.

In his role, McCrum works to assist international fellows from all over the world, helping to integrate the students within university programs.

“My internship at NDU has exposed me to an abundance of internationalism and cultural diversity in the daily workplace,” says McCrum. “Although I am not fluent in any foreign languages, my experience during my semester in Rome with Christendom helped prepare me for foreign interaction as it was my first international experience where I was forced to use alternative means to establish a mutual interest and forge common ground. Being a history major, my background in the classics and in the history of religion and theology has allowed me to relate to high ranking members of other countries and speak to them comprehensively about the issues facing their countries.”

McCrum hopes to stay in this field after graduation, working for the state department or an intelligence agency as an analyst with a focus on Russian foreign policy and the Caucasus. In whatever work he ends up taking, McCrum will assuredly use his skills to make a difference in this country and beyond.

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