Peter Jeffrey (Fels ’16), Intern at the Department of Defense

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Peter Jeffrey (Fels ’16) is not the typical college student. A Wharton undergrad, he will complete his MPA at Fels this spring. But for his summer internship, Jeffrey decided to depart from public finance and management theory to gain national security experience at the International Cooperation Directorate of the Acquisitions, Technology, and Logistics branch of the Defense Department. 

“I was able to get awesome exposure to how the Department works with other partner nations to achieve mutually beneficial objectives,” Jeffrey said, describing how the position let him get an international perspective. “In my role, I processed International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) Exemptions that allowed U.S. parties to work with partner nations in an effort to equip and train partners with a myriad of weapon systems.” 

Jeffrey found the Fels public management course helpful in preparing him for the internship. “Public Management was a great opportunity to learn about the many public administrative challenges that exist throughout the government workplace,” he said. “My time at Defense offered a unique opportunity to see how the lessons presented in the course can be applied outside of the classroom.”

One of the things Jeffrey enjoyed most about the experience was the opportunity to connect with thought leaders and experts within the defense community. 

“While the Defense Department is an enormous operation, there is still a huge benefit in networking and forming connections with people throughout the defense community. Going into meetings with my colleagues, I realized just how small the defense community really is and how often people connect via various jobs because they have formed relationships throughout the department and its supporting agencies.” 

This semester, Jeffrey is back on campus and finishing up with Fels courses like Advanced Budgeting and Public Development. 

And his plans post-graduation? 

“I hope to use my experience to pivot from working with larger organizations to smaller organizations, specifically startups interacting with important social issues,” Jeffrey said. “There are a lot of huge issues that disruptive technologies are addressing from transportation to healthcare. I would love to get involved with some of these organizations that are impacting large industries and creating public good.” 

The interview for this article was conducted by the Fels Student Association. 

Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326

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