The Washington Institute for Near East Policy Reviews | Glassdoor

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy Reviews

Updated April 21, 2017
12 reviews

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  1. "Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Research Intern in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great organization with amazing experts, take advantage of their knowledge they are almost always happy to talk

    Cons

    Unpaid internship its up to your self to pursue independent research.

    Advice to Management

    Work with interns to cultivate their research interests


  2. "internship"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Former Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Former Intern in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -great exposure to Middle East policy makers
    -influential think tank but small enough that one can get to know staff and fellows personally
    -good Intern/RA camaraderie

    Cons

    like most places, internships are unpaid and research assistants make a low salary. While staff and fellows are amiable, the office has a more formal feel.

    Advice to Management

    Overall, fairly satisfied with management. However, certain office procedures beyond the front desk should be explained more thoroughly at the beginning of ones start at the Institute.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "For research assistants, interesting work, amazing access, wonderful mentor relationships"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Recommends

    Pros

    One's experience will depend on his/her relationship with the senior fellow he/she is paired with. Overall, great, collegial atmosphere, very little hierarchy, and research assistants tend to be very tight knit group. Senior fellows are very approachable and have open-door policy, so research assistants (RAs) have access to them and other senior officials who pass through the Institute. The Institute produces top notch work and the senior fellows are extremely knowledgeable, experienced, and well-connected. Along with the interesting research projects and amazing access comes the expectation that RAs and interns will do much of the grunt work -- this means arranging tables and setting up food for events, cleaning up afterwards, and covering for the receptionist about once a week. Interns are expected to do much more admin. work like make copies, deal with the mail, etc. For RAs, the breakdown of research work to administrative work is probably about 75% to 25%. Most people I know who were RAs at TWI maintain their relationships with other RAs and senior fellows for many years.

    Cons

    The admin work can be a drag, but if you do it with a positive attitude you will have no issues. The people who complain about it or try to avoid their duties get into trouble. Because interns and RAs are expected to clean up after events, it sometimes feels like there is no expectation for guests and senior fellows to clean up after themselves, which is unfortunate. Not much room to move up the ranks, as is the case with most think tanks. There are many women on the administrative staff and among the interns and RAs, but very few at the top levels. This is something TWI is conscious of, but apparently hasn't been able to change much. Pay isn't great, but don't think it differs much from other think tanks.


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  5. "Well connected and impeccable work environment/culture - Just pay me"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Research Intern in Washington, DC
    Current Intern - Research Intern in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The senior fellows here are heavy hitters in the realm of diplomacy/foreign policy with easily approachable personalities to boot. Speak to them regularly - they are an invaluable resource and most are willing to help you how they can with your future career. The Institute is unbelievably well connected - you won't know who'll show up and speak at our conferences next short of the president of the United States.

    The work is challenging and keeps you on your toes during busy publication periods. Editing, research, fact checking, occasionally drafting.

    Cons

    The Institute is surprisingly tightfisted for their already huge, and still growing budget. Interns do real and difficult work for no pay. Pay is paltry for entry level jobs - barely covering the cost of living in this insanely overpriced city.

    Be prepared for physical and administrative tasks: setting up conferences (cleaning, moving tables/chairs/food), making expense reports, filing business cards, reserving meals, plane flights, taxis, running phone calls and the reception desk, etc.


  6. "Great place to learn the ropes of research"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Research Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Research Intern in Washington, DC
    Recommends

    I worked at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The Washington Institute was a great place to wet my beak and get a feel for the field. Many interesting people focusing on many different subjects. In general, most fellows were open to discussing work with interns outside of their own portfolios, so it was an ideal place to learn from a variety of styles.

    Cons

    If unsatisfied with his or her workload or feeling underutilized, the intern can find it difficult to address branch out and take on more responsibility. However, the structure of the intern program allows for this and makes it possible to address the problem so that the issue doesn't get out of hand.


  7. "Not as known but has more policy influence than expected"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I worked at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy full-time

    Pros

    TWI is a rare think tank when it comes to its accessibility. The organization of TWI makes it so fellows can just drop by your desk or chat with you in the kitchen. It's a very friendly office, and everyone is on a first name basis; something you generally don't find at other prominent think tanks in DC.

    RAs and interns have brown bag lunches to meet with fellows and learn about a variety of career paths. It is possible to move from intern to research assistant or research associate. Some former RAs came back years later and became fellows.

    Outlet wise, TWI has a presence in the executive branch and in the media. Its reach to the policy community is greater than expected.

    Cons

    Low pay
    TWI is a bit dated in some of its ways


  8. "hostile work environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    scholarship is impressive and events are informative

    Cons

    staff unfriendly and unwilling to acknowledge hard work


  9. "WINEP Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Research Intern
    Former Employee - Research Intern

    I worked at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great place to work directly with senior fellows, if you make the effort they will make time to discuss subject matter, career progression or just chat. On top of that you will learn a lot from the work you're assigned, meetings you'll attend and conversations you will have.

    Cons

    Job does have administrative duties along with your research role.


  10. "Pompous + cliquey"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Intern - Intern
    Former Intern - Intern
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    --TWI has pretty good brand recognition in DC
    --Lots of young people to work with
    --Solid work life balance.

    Cons

    --RAs and Interns are relegated to "daily duties," on par with duties a maid is expected to perform (cleaning and organizing of the kitchen, greeting guests). Pretty comical and telling that the senior fellows will not clean up after themselves. You're not that important.
    --There are much better ways to gain ME experience and connections.
    --Not a premier think tank, but think they are a premier think tank.
    --RAs are paid 30K a year - very, very low, even for policy standards.
    --I've worked at a number of organizations in the past few years, and this was by far the worst in terms on compensation, friendliness, diversity, and transparency.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your interns money and respect.


  11. "Good."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities to network, create meaningful connections.

    Rapport between senior and junior staff is excellent.

    Cons

    Career advancement, like at any other think tank, is slow.