Two Clemson students will be headed to Stuttgart, Germany, for a summer internship experience that only nine students across the U.S. have earned. Madison Beasenburg, a junior criminal justice major, and Regina Koesters, a junior communication major, are both participating in the prestigious United States European Command (EUCOM) Volunteer Internship Program, which is designed for students interested in a military career after college.
EUCOM exists as a hub for U.S. service members and civilians working in government who conduct military operations that enhance transatlantic security and the defense of the U.S. Its volunteer internship program is designed to develop the next generation of military leaders by providing cadets real-world interactions with high-ranking staff in the career fields they plan to pursue after graduating from their commissioning programs. Cadets have broad opportunities across a variety of disciplines.
This competitive program was Beasenburg’s top choice for a summer army internship. She is interested in military intelligence and explosive ordnance disposal due to her criminal justice background and feels that this internship will increase her likelihood of receiving a military occupational specialty honor. Beasenburg is hopeful that the skills she returns to Clemson with will better prepare her for future work as a Secret Service agent.
“There is a history of serving the community as well as the country in my family,” Beasenburg says. “One of my brothers serves as a local firefighter, and my other brother served in the army. I feel that by serving I am continuing the legacy of military history in my family. I am grateful for the support I have received from my family, and I am also grateful to Clemson ROTC for molding me into the person and leader I am today. This internship will open new experiences and create new memories for me that I know will be key factors for growth in my future career.”
Beasenburg will be working in the Joint Interagency Counter Trafficking Center of the Counter Narcotics Division for the duration of her internship. Majoring in criminal justice has equipped her with knowledge in how to assess and analyze situations which will be beneficial in her new role. Her major has also impressed upon her the importance of enforcing the law and in keeping public perception of law enforcement in mind while doing so.
Beasenburg is also minoring in military leadership, which has allowed her to better understand a variety of leadership styles. Courses in the military leadership minor have focused on accomplishing missions in ways that maximize safety. Beasenburg has taken these lessons to heart and looks forward to seeing them applied in a real-world context during her internship.
Koesters also looks forward to experiencing the military through the firsthand experience the internship program will provide, although she will specifically set her sights on military career opportunities related to public relations. Koesters has enjoyed the challenges presented to her in both the communication major and ROTC, and as someone who also comes from a military family, she looks forward to pursuing a career in the army upon graduation.
“One of my grandfathers served in World War II and Korea, the other served in Korea and my dad was a military police officer in the army for 21 years,” Koesters says. “I have been around the military since I was young, so it was always in the back of my mind. Originally, I wanted to swim or play soccer at a smaller college, but eventually I switched my focus to ROTC.”
Koesters will spend the summer in the EUCOM Public Affairs Office, a position that directly ties to her communication major.
As someone who has volunteered internationally, Koesters believes that the cultural interactions she has experienced have taught her the importance of planning, building alliances and developing collaborative, information-sharing networks with individuals. She feels more experiences abroad through the internship will only further improve her cultural awareness and understanding.
Throughout their time at Clemson, both Beasenburg and Koesters have received ROTC scholarships due to their proven leadership abilities and focus on hard work. They both credit the ROTC program and their peers for encouraging them along the way.
As junior ROTC members by class standing, both women will complete Clemson ROTC’s advanced camp, a rigorous 37-day training event designed to assess cadets’ abilities to demonstrate proficiency with basic office leadership tasks. Koesters feels that her past and future ROTC experience will more than prepare her for the summer’s volunteer internship program.
“ROTC provides me with a platform to challenge myself both mentally and physically. Over the past three years, it has helped develop me as a leader and has introduced me to a group of the most motivated and determined individuals,” Koesters says. “I strongly believe Clemson has one of the best Army ROTC programs in the nation because of its ability to prepare cadets for anything and everything, including this internship.”
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