What types of government internships should be taken to gain experience in the fields of Public Policy or International Politics?
I am considering a career in the realm of Political Science, and I would like to participate in government-based activities during and after my educational experience. #government #political-science #politics #federal-government #public-policy
Allison Tuszynski, CGBP
There are many opportunities for internships in government for you to gain experience in public policy or international affairs.
I've interned in non-profits and government and found both experiences very valuable. I majored in Political Science as an undergraduate and my master's degree is in International Commerce & Policy. I spent a semester in college in Washington D.C. and was able to intern subsequently in a federal agency.
Consider relocating to D.C. or a state capitol for internships with representatives or senators or with a legislative committee. If you have this opportunity in D.C., intern with a committee or representative. Interning with a committee will get you more substantial legislative work, especially if you know you want to focus in a certain area such as homeland security or healthcare. The offices of representatives are much smaller staffed than senators so it's likely you will have more opportunities to get real experience. Federal agencies are another great way to get government experience. Keep in mind, some of them have long application periods, such as the State Department, so you will need to start applying well before you want to intern.
Look for internships with a local or state government agency. Also, volunteer to do some campaign work; knowing how the political machine operates is valuable. Volunteering in this capacity is a great way to network too, as you'll meet a lot of people involved in government or who will be involved in government in the future.
Consider interning for a non-profit too. I see your primary goal is interning for the government, but I just want to make you aware that many non-profits also do public policy and international affairs work.
Good luck to you and I hope you find this information helpful! Please feel free to reach out if you have questions.
Two things I think that would help you get a handle on what would be beneficial is whether you want to work domestically or internationally and what area are you passionate about. Then look at the big organizations and see what internships are available. Many big organizations have internships and many universities have afflications so look there as well.
Katie Manderson, MA, ACC
Also, look at politics on the local level. You could volunteer on a political campaign to gain some experience. You could work with any local city government organizations to gain experience. Attend local school board or city council meetings will help you get an eye for politics that you will directly see the effects of then you can broaden that out to the State and Federal levels.