Kelly and Shelby

Think Tank Fascination

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Today at lunch, we decided that we want to be a part of a think tank.  After doing a little research, we discovered that there are approximately 5500 think tanks worldwide with about 1800 in the United States.  350 of them are located in DC alone!  Think tanks shape US foreign and domestic policy as well as figure out how to solve a variety of other issues.  The only problem is that the funding for think tanks can cause the decisions they make to be biased.

How does one join a think tank? What qualifies you to be a member?

  1. Well, you’re off to a good start by pursuing a good liberal arts education and working to improve your writing skills (because thinking is of little use if you are not able to articulate your thoughts). I’d imagine your job this summer has also helped to develop your analytical skills, which is another essential competency for a think tank job.

    If you want to work for a think tank early in your career, it will likely be as a researcher, writer, editor, or possibly an analyst, working to support the scholars. Most of the larger think tanks have internships for college students — Shelby’s uncle the economist would likely be able to provide more information about this. I would imagine that any type of work experience (even volunteer) in the field in which your chosen think tank operates would also be highly valued.

    Another route into a think tank job might be to work for a while (or do an internship with) a consulting firm, since the skill sets are pretty much the same. If you want to end up in a senior position at a think tank (e.g., scholar), you’ll likely need to earn a graduate degree.

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