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National Security Meets Consulting

September 27, 2016 | Elma Hajric

Over the summer, I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton as part of the 2016 Summer Games. Primarily, I worked in an intern group with five other students on counterterrorism in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Our team was tasked with communicating the fallout effects of failed states to senior U.S. policymakers and military leaders. We were given a lot of room to shape the specific question we wanted to work on, as well as the creative direction of our project.

After a number of discussions, our team decided that we wanted to create a wargame with a digital twist. We collected data on eleven different cases of “failed states” and aggregated certain trends and characteristics to create a fictional country situation in the MENA region. Our fictional country, the Republic of Sinai, was the basis of our digital wargame. The players of the game, consisting of various government leaders from the U.S., European Union, Israel and Egypt, were presented with scenarios that affect national security decision-making. These scenarios ranged from attacks on embassies in our fictional country to the spread of a dangerous communicable disease. The main idea behind the game was that government leaders would be able to directly see the impacts of their decisions during each scenario, through social media analysis.

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Making art in Booz Allen’s D.C. Innovation Center!

Aside from learning the concepts behind wargaming and more about counterterrorism efforts in the MENA region, I had the opportunity to work on my professional development at Booz Allen. The company hosted a number of events designed for interns to network with senior company leaders and to boost our government consulting skills. Through Booz Allen’s extracurricular events, I had the chance to volunteer in the community, such as the STEM Girls for Social Good (SG4SG) event that I attended (pictured below). The program is designed to encourage girls to get involved in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at a young age.

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I also learned about Booz Allen’s work in defense consulting and its many opportunities to work on national security issues abroad. Overall, it was a memorable summer and Booz Allen provided me with a great start to my career in national security after Sanford!