NATO internships open doors for future peace and security professionals

  • 26 Mar. 2012 -
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  • Last updated: 26 Apr. 2012 11:54

Have you ever wanted to know how the Alliance works from the inside? On 26 March, NATO began taking internship applications for 2013. Young graduates and research students from a wide range of academic disciplines are invited to apply by 30 April 2012.

As an international organization, NATO is characterised by diversity.  It is comprised of people from different backgrounds, cultures, work styles, values and ways of thinking. This is reflected in the Organization’s internship programme, which offers opportunities in various areas, such as political science, international relations, IT, media, finance and human resources.

Ioana took up the internship in the Operations Division after obtaining her master degree in International Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.
“The internship in the Operations Division was a unique opportunity not only to acquire invaluable knowledge on NATO's priorities but also to get firsthand experience in the planning and coordination of projects of direct impact for NATO operational capability”, she says.

Ioana was assigned to work on projects related to critical infrastructure protection, civil-military cooperation and civil capability in military operations and deployments.

“My work in the Operations Division and especially the placement in the Civil-Military Planning and Support Section gave me an unequaled professional insight into the 'modus operandi' of NATO's core structure dealing with operational issues and the building of operational capacity.”

Ioana proudly states that the “this internship has by all means been a challenging but equally rewarding and enriching professional and personal experience”.

Various opportunities

Silvia, a Computer Sciences graduate with professional experience in Customer Support and possessing a vast knowledge of foreign languages, has been selected to join the NATO Headquarters Consultation, Command and Control (C3) Staff (NHQC3S).

She was appointed to work in parallel in the C3B Coordinator's office and in the Information Assurance and Cyber Defence Branch (IACDB) to assist in the completion of their respective duties.

Silvia says, “The Internship gave me the opportunity to experience working with senior level civil and military NATO Committees and Bodies, thus leading to a better understanding of the Alliance and its internal decision making processes.”

Having a strong background in Computer Siences, she was assigned by her branch to kept track of cyber defence related events and tasks. Also, she carried-out technical IT work, revising and updating structures on SharePoint and the portal of the C3 Representatives.

“It has also given me with the opportunity to grow professionally and personally in a multicultural environment, making the Internship a once in a lifetime experience for which I will always be grateful.”

Although some interns stay on at NATO after the internship to complete their assignments or to take up full-time employment, many move on to other international organisations.  Whatever their long-term ambitions, the NATO internship experience will surely help them to achieve their goals.

To apply or learn more, visit the NATO Internship Programme page (