Employee Spotlight

“SPA’s intern program is based in substantive work that provided awesome context for my academic studies.”

As an undergrad in international affairs in 2015, Alix N. was studying nuclear policy, and at one point she presented a talk at a nuclear policy conference. An SPA employee approached her after hearing her speak. “Would she be interested in applying for an internship?”

Alix had done other internships as well as research for professors, so she was acquainted with the concept. What she hadn’t expected was SPA’s well-defined internship program, its helpful onboarding process, and the support interns receive from management. 

“SPA values its interns,” says Alix. “They do substantive work and create client-facing products. It was awesome to see the impact.”

SPA sponsored Alix for a security clearance, a significant step for a college student. She worked on a project involving high explosives, even traveling to the factory of a major producer to learn about the subject in depth. She was responsible for analyzing her findings and writing and editing a study. In addition to these skill-builders, Alix notes that her time management ability improved, evolving from the linear mode of college to the juggling style of the professional world. 

Today, Alix is a policy analyst for SPA. She is also pursuing a master’s degree in security studies at Georgetown University. Looking back on her internship, Alix says she was very pleased with the level of responsibility she was held to, which included working on classified material. 

Now that Alix is firmly engaged in professional life, does she have time to pursue personal interests? In fact, “The work-life balance at SPA is very unusual, in a good way,” she says. “Management is very respectful of commitments outside of work.”

One of Alix’s commitments is to perform in outdoor theater productions of Shakespeare’s plays. She belongs to the Fat and Greasy Citizens Brigade in Washington, DC, and recently performed in The Taming of the Shrew. Well played, former intern.

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