Interning in Bosnia most definitely has its perks. Once you get over the principal drawback of not being paid, the Bosnian way of working is vastly superior to the States. The flexibility, late start times, vast amounts of coffee, free Fridays, and the general laid back atmosphere is unmatched. Interning back home at a similar institution this summer would have been a grueling 50+ hour work week, where the pressure to outperform my peers in pursuit of a full-time offer would have been an ever-present stress nipping at my heels.
Instead, I have had a thoroughly experience at the Atlantic Initiative as a research assistant. I have had the flexibility to takes days off, work from home, and have been able to help with the primary research for a number of interesting projects, both in and out of my area of expertise. My projects have included; researching methods for de-radicalization of Islamic extremists in the Balkans, ethnic segregation in schools in Bosnia, and the radicalization of women and youth in the Balkans. I also get the double whammy of a great name on my resume and the experience of working in a new culture, on top of having what I consider one the best summers of my life. My only real complaint is that I could have easily had a bigger work load, but then again, I’m probably just looking a gift horse in the mouth.