Shortly after Kristen Dennard, Class of 2018, returned from taking summer classes at Queen’s University in Northern Ireland (2016), she began researching her next study abroad trip. On a pre-law track at the time, Dennard was taking Dr. Barbara Donovan’s American foreign policy class. On one occasion, the class participated in a U.S. foreign policy simulation developed by the New York-based Council of Foreign Relations involving Russian incursions into Latvia. Students role-played a variety of different U.S. policy makers, including secretary of state, secretary of defense, and national security advisor, and crafted a response to Russian behavior. Dennard found the simulation stimulating and began to search for an internship in foreign policy. She found her opportunity at the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) in Canberra, Australia. Dennard spent last summer helping AIIA facilitate the EU-Australia Leadership Forum (EUALF) in Sydney, Australia. Evey year, this forum brings together key European and Australian leaders from Government and Opposition, business, media, education, and civil society to get input and share ideas to help diversify and intensify the relationship.
After being trained at AIIA in business and diplomatic etiquette, Dennard attended meetings with visiting delegates from Jordan, Egypt, and Greece. Additionally, she prepared research for the Australian International Law Conference that AIIA would be attending in Seoul, South Korea.
Dennard is earning a double major in international relations and international business. “The internship changed my plans. I am no longer studying law. I have discovered that I am interested in business and economics and the effect of geopolitics.” She hopes to begin her career next year in Australia as an international marketing specialist with a multinational corporation.