USD International Relations Students Publish Book for Students Seeking Internships

USD International Relations Students Publish Book for Students Seeking Internships

IR Student Book Launch

This spring, Associate Professor and Director of USD’s Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) program Dr. Avi Spiegel assigned a writing project to nine students enrolled in his graduate-level professional development course. The task: write a comprehensive “toolkit” to help students locate, apply to and secure an international relations internship.

“Through their research, these students found that there was no comprehensive guide out there to help students navigate this complex process—and so they did what great students do: they set out to create their own, using their vast internship experience to write a new guide to help others,” says Spiegel.

These nine students were either participating in or had already completed an international relations internship when writing the guide. 

"Through their ingenuity and perseverance, they sought out jobs with international dimensions in San Diego. One worked with immigrant communities (The Office of Immigrant Affairs at the City of San Diego); one with a member of Congress; one with law enforcement (SD Sheriff's Office); one with the US Department of State (virtually); one with a multinational corporation (Qualcomm) whose profits exceed the GDP of many countries; one with an organization that elevates the voices of BIPOC communities around the world; one with a public interest law firm that works with asylum seekers; and, finally, two students worked with diplomacy and world affairs organizations in the city (San Diego Diplomacy Council & San Diego World Affairs Council),” says Spiegel.

The group started collaborating, editing and formatting in February and submitted How to Land the Perfect Internship in International Relations: Your Guide to Succeeding in the Field for publication in April. They celebrated their accomplishment with a book launch party on campus to present their hard work to faculty, administration, staff and the community at large.

San Diego Councilmembers Raul Campillo (District 7) and Jennifer Campbell (District 2) attended the event. Campillo spoke to the audience about the complexity of navigating the diplomatic and bureaucratic landscape of international relations and stressed the importance of completing an internship to advance a career in the field.

USD graduate Randy Reyes and senior Madaleine Domingo served as editors for the project. Reyes focused his studies on international security and currently works in Councilmember Campbell’s office. 

“In the field of government, politics and international relations, who one knows is key,” Reyes says. Landing internships and networking inside of them is something young people can learn about in this book. 

Domingo is a Fulbright grantee who will travel to Thailand and plans to pursue an international career in foreign service. The other contributing authors are Erin Dwyer, Deniz Guzeldere, Ryan Haile, Amanda Mueller, Saleena Ordorica, Sabrina Richards and Namie Yazaki. All are full-time students in the MAIR program or are BA/MA combined degree international relations students.

In his foreword, Dr. Spiegel describes how this book “systematically tackles every aspect of the internship issue, from the search to the successful completion, from the categorizations of internships to the ethics behind them.”

Working collectively, the authors focused on the details of their time as interns. The unique experience of each student author forms a chapter in the book focused on everything from networking to nailing the interview.  This achievement will also benefit the students as they approach future employers. Reyes says he has discovered through this process a passion for helping the younger generation with navigating school and their professions.

Through the writing process, these authors have mentored and supported each other toward a common goal: sharing the lessons they have learned through their internship experiences with future interns. 

USD has added this valuable guide to the Copley Library, and it will no doubt find a place on many bookshelves in USD faculty offices—a ready reference to be pulled out when a student asks, “How do I find an internship?”


Nancy Kuelbs
(610) 260-4545