W&J Student Finishes Senior Year with Prestigious NATO Internship

Created: April 18, 2016
Last Updated: January 16, 2020

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WASHINGTON, PA (April 18, 2016)—Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) student Nicole Luben ’16 is finishing her senior year with W&J in Brussels, Belgium. Luben was one of 40 who was selected for a prestigious internship with NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Luben, an international studies major from Oil City, Pa., previously had an internship with the Department of State in the Bureau of Political Military Affairs as a Program Analyst. Her time as a Program Analyst improved her understanding of international issues and how to solve them.

“My experience with the Department of State in the Bureau of Political Military Affairs was extremely rewarding. I was given a fantastic opportunity to apply entry-level experience to identify solutions to pressing worldwide issues and shadow senior advisors and U.S. diplomats in the Department of State,” said Luben.

Although rewarding, her previous internship also came with challenges that proved to be a great learning experience for Luben.

“As the Bureau of Political Military Affairs is the primary link between the Department of State and Department of Defense it was difficult at times to be mindful of both of the departments’ different agendas,” said Luben. “Therefore, my greatest learning experience was how to coordinate interagency affairs and assist in the execution of those strategies.”

Luben now has the opportunity to witness international affairs firsthand with the support of her professors.

“In the German program, we have a strong record of students demonstrating their ability to contribute substantially to the world,” said Judith Atzler Ph.D., a W&J German professor, and Luben’s advisor. “Nicole is an example of the many students we have placed in high level internships throughout Europe. We wish Nicole all the best for her future endeavors.”

NATO is an international organization composed of 28 countries which purposes is to provide protection to all countries who are members through both political and military means.

“While interning with NATO I will be working in the Aerospace Capabilities Division where I will assist the alliance in the areas of Air and Missile Defense. While in Brussels, I hope to learn more about our defense community and multinational crisis management,” said Luben.

After completing her internship and graduating from W&J, Luben either wants to pursue her master’s degree in intelligence and national security or to find a career with an international organization.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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