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Applying to think tanks

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1. I don't know a better place to ask a very specific question like this (on the internet, honestly) because there's no such thing as think tank interns.com

2. I don't know if this is permissible here

In any case, I graduated BA recently and have been (for a very long period of time) looking for jobs. But it's been sucking, and I don't know if I suck or something sucks that I can blame with good reason. I just have no idea. I've been doggedly focusing on think tanks, and only think tanks. I just feel that other things don't seem interesting and despite occasionally looking out for other things, I struggled to find something interesting. For instance, there was a position which would have been relevant at Pinkerton, that detective agency. Yes, I would likely be qualified. But, I am no Sherlock reader and no thanks.

Some other areas which are appropriate for students of my field of study are HR or project management. Yes I could take those jobs but I have negative interest in that. Research is all I care about.

Yet my responses in jobs have been garbage so far. It's been closing in on two years and while I've landed successful internships at a large (in the past) and small think tank only recently, only recently have i gotten my first positive response for a position I would consider priority 1, which was for a research assistant at AEI, and it wasn't even a you were selected, it was an explicit please apply again, we liked your application, but there was someone else better.

Is this a normal 2-year post graduation internship cycle for students in my position? And are there alternatives to these kinds of jobs that I'm looking for or not really? Perhaps is it just simply the case that unless I'm from GT or GA or the top 5s, that I lack the trimmed academic pedigree?

Edited by I am not a gradstudent
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  • 1 month later...

Former think tank intern here. I was an intern at AEI and they hire based on academic achievements and research needs. My position required strong Arabic skills, which was a rarity. Other than that, it's very much based on luck because I applied very early. 

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