My name is Harshana Ghoorhoo, and I am a junior majoring in Diplomacy and International Relations, Modern Languages, and Philosophy. I am currently a research intern at the Modern War Institute (MWI) at West Point Academy. MWI is a national resource within the Department of Military Instruction that provides a unique platform to conduct studies on recent and ongoing conflicts to help military leaders navigate today’s complex world. MWI’s projects include activities such as scholarship, multi-disciplinary battlefield assessments, symposia, among others.
Given my interest in studying military strategy, urban warfare, and military classical thought, the internship has been key in fostering the necessary skills and knowledge that will prepare me for a career in military studies. So far, I have assisted with the publication of MWI-affiliated scholarship through research, formatting, editing, and fact-checking, which has given me a better understanding of the process behind producing publishable reports and articles. Currently, I am working directly under the director of research and the chair of the urban war studies department. I am involved with two major projects researching U.S. military history and military strategy of former U.S. presidents during the Revolutionary War. Additionally, I am writing a series of urban battle reports for MWI’s Department of Urban War Studies.
The support I have received from my supervisors is incredible. They have been very friendly, responsive, and have encouraged me to take up projects that capture my interest. Working with them makes me enjoy completing my internship hours and pushes me to continue contributing to the research projects currently underway at MWI. Even though my internship is remote this semester, I am fortunate to be working in an environment that remains highly productive despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. My weekly calls with my supervisor always start with a small recap of our respective week, sharing ideas, talking about interesting news, academic updates, and so on. He has been more than a supervisor; he has been a valuable mentor.
Working at MWI has given me important insight into how think tanks and research institutes function and how to succeed in the sphere of research and academia. My involvement with Seton Hall’s student organizations has been instrumental because they have provided me with vital skills that I am actively using in my current role as a research intern. My role as an editor for the Diplomatic Envoy has proved consequential since I write urban battle reports and occasionally copy-edit articles submitted to the MWI. As a research assistant at the DiploLab, I have learned essential skills in conducting research that I regularly translate to my work at MWI.
My internship rarely feels like I carry a workload. On more than one occasion, I have opted to write a battle report or start a new project in my spare time because of the excitement and passion I have for the work. Of course, having supportive supervisors has been key in enabling these sentiments. I would highly recommend MWI to anyone looking for an internship that strengthens your writing skills, expands your academic horizons, and pushes you to become a more effective researcher.