NATO internships open doors for future peace and security professionals

  • 13 Mar. 2014 -
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  • Last updated: 28 May. 2015 11:44

Have you ever wanted to know how the Alliance works from the inside? On 13 March, NATO began taking internship applications for 2015. Young graduates and research students from a wide range of academic disciplines are invited to apply by 14 April 2014.

As an international organisation, NATO is characterised by diversity: people from different backgrounds, cultures, work styles, values and ways of thinking. This is reflected in the Alliance’s internship programme, which offers opportunities in a variety of areas including political science, international relations, IT, media, finance and human resources.

Amanda worked in the Talent Management and Organizational Development section of the Executive Management Division. As such, she was involved in an array of Human Resources-related topics such as feedback, performance management, coaching and mentoring, and training.

Not only was the NATO Internship Programme an opportunity for me to gain experience in my field, but I also learned from working with colleagues from member and partner nations in a unique political setting,” says Amanda, describing her internship as, “a memorable experience”.

Varied opportunities

NATO’s internship programme offers a broad range of possible thematic orientations: former students of graphic design, library science, journalism, law enforcement, aeronautics or engineering might also find a unique opportunity to gain international experience in peace and security. Knowledge of Russian or Arabic is especially welcome.

Working with Communications Services in NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, Bianca tells us, “The NATO internship programme is quite unique, because it allows you to work in (or in connection with) highly specialised domains. Irrespective of your area of interest, I’ve learned first-hand that NATO is a very dynamic environment that can offer much more than what you can anticipate. It’s an environment that encourages and allows for continued development.”

My internship with the Public Diplomacy Division was a great opportunity to develop new skills and to grow professionallyBianca explains. “My work revolved around the activity of the editorial team in Brussels and with our colleagues in Afghanistan. I was also in contact with personnel from different NATO divisions, which helped me to understand the complexity of an international organisation.”

Rachel carried out her internship with the International Military Staff where she worked in the field of information and knowledge management.

The NATO internship programme is an excellent opportunity for young professionals to get practical experience in a dynamic and international environment,” says Rachel. “My internship allowed me to meet and collaborate with numerous experts in my field. It has also diversified my skills set, introducing me to new and interesting areas outside of my domain of expertise. In addition, the internship enables you to contribute to NATO in a meaningful way,” she continues. “I would highly recommend applying for this internship, as it has been a truly rewarding professional experience.”

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 help them to achieve their goals.

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