Natalie Brutty is a senior advertising and public relations student at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Since May 2021, she has served as communications specialist intern for the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska.
What is a key take away from your work with NSRI so far?
NSRI has opened my eyes to the importance of strategic deterrence. After working with some of the most intelligent scientists, generals and security specialists, I now understand the eminent importance that research holds in the present and future protection of our country.
Working for NSRI has given me the purpose I have spent a lot of my college career trying to find. Explaining to people who I work for and with makes me proud of both myself and the institute.
What would your peers find most fascinating about NSRI's mission space?
I think my peers, especially college aged, would find the variety of work that goes into deterrence interesting. Almost every field can contribute to our national security, which is something I hadn't known until working at NSRI.
When you think of the grander purpose of this work — keeping our warfighters and first responders safe — do you feel a sense of patriotism? Why?
The work of deterrence that is done here in the United States, and more specifically NSRI, has given me a renewed sense of patriotism for our nation. Deterrence is working towards precluding large nuclear, biochemical and other large scale violent attacks in the best interest for not just the United States but our allies and the world as a whole.
What perspective have you gained from your experience in regard to our country's military?
I think often times we look at the U.S. military and only see offensive moves, but NSRI has shown me the hundreds of ways our resources are used to defend our people and land.
How have your career plans evolved due to your work with NSRI?
I had always had the thought in the back of my mind that I wanted to work for the U.S. government due to my passion for change. That thought was pushed out when I believed I had no way of being able to get my foot in the door. NSRI has reignited the fire in me for what I've always wanted to do, which is to make a difference. I see myself working in a communications strategy or public relations for a large government entity.
How has your NSRI experience expanded your specific skillset?
I think it goes without saying that communication is the foundation for strong entities. The College of Journalism & Mass Communications at UNL has built the fundamentals in me for the opportunity to succeed as a communicator. Throughout my time at UNL thus far, I have worked with press, public relations, strategy, writing and creative professionals and professors who have all played a critical role in the skills I am able to bring to the table here at NSRI. Now NSRI has given me the opportunity to expand with hands-on experience, new knowledge and perspective of the space of deterrence and government policy.
Why should other students intern through NSRI?
NSRI will give you the opportunity to learn the inner workings of deterrence and the Department of Defense. If you see yourself in the area of defense or government, NSRI gives you the perfect opportunity to see what it is like first hand.
About the National Strategic Research Institute
Through the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska leading scientists deliver innovative national security research, technology, product and strategy development, training and exercises, and subject matter expertise to the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. One of only 14 DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Centers in the country, NSRI is sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command and works to ensure the United States’ safety and preparedness against increasingly sophisticated threats. Read about our mission.