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guide for a polo sci major?

How can I use a job/internship to help me gain experience for the political science/soft science world? What are some opportunities that could help me on this journey?

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Thomas’s Answer

A few different things occur to me (although I'm not in political science in any way). First, members of congress and members of state legislatures may have internships available, which will let you see the day-to-day operations of politics. They also often have paid staff, which could also be a good fit for you if you have whatever experience and skills they are looking for. Similarly, as another respondent mentioned, political campaigns always need volunteers. If you volunteer for a campaign and seek out more responsibilities within the campaign team, you will likely be able to take them on. While this is true of election campaigns, it's also likely true of organizations that are advocating for issues (like environmental groups) or for specific initiatives (for example, where I live there is one group that is pushing to preserve a specific area of wilderness; there's another that is pushing for changes in policies at the local board of education). Working with these groups, and paying attention, you can get a good practical view of how political organizations interact with the community and the government, and how different tactics and strategies work or don't work. Finally, you may check with local universities to see who is doing research on political issues and movements. Researchers may need volunteers or interns to help with their investigations. I hope this is useful.
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david’s Answer

I'm not sure of your specific interests, but a good way to get political experience is to become involved in local campaigns. From my experience, local political parties are always looking for new members to do real work on campaigns. This might include accompanying candidates on their door-to-door activities, making and delivering signs, addressing envelopes, and all the other seemingly trivial tasks on which all campaigns rely. Doing such will ensure you are invited (free, generally) to fundraisers and other events where you will meet leaders in your area. By staying involved in regular meetings and in helping plan the next year's campaigns, you will attract important people who are always looking for young people to get involved. As one who volunteers myself, I have seen this happen several times. But you must take ownership and voice your desire for more involvement. Doing this can be an excellent experience to document on resumes, as it shows you are willing to be active in the work. Good luck to you.
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Jerry’s Answer

Political Science is a broad field. First, I would do a search of the discipline. I was a Poly Sui major and ended up teaching American Government and Politics for thirty-eight years. If one were just to take the intro course in American government it would normally be divided into areas such as the Constitution, Separation of Powers, specific looks at Congress, the Presidency and the Federal Courts. Then somewhere in all that there would be an examination of the Federal System (two levels of government; local governments are organized by the states) and who has what powers: the national government or the states or some they share. And then there's elections. Local, state and federal offices. Types of offices. Legal qualifications. The nomination for office process. Styles of campaigning. And then there's the rest of the Poly Sui discipline. You do the searching and reading and decide which specific area of Political Science interests you. You will get that chance once you're into nighter education and become a Poly Sui major. No need to make up your mind now. Therefore, at this point, if all you want to do at this point is to explore the political world there are many opportunities in every local area of the United States. Take a look at those opportunities and decide if you wish to take part. And to find out just what is going on I would think you should start by regularly reading your local newspaper. Yes. Newspaper. Figuring out what you wish to do is a matter of one step at a time. Figuring yourself out. You appear to have an idea of the direction you wish to of. Now take the first step.
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Briana’s Answer

There are a few options you can look into for internships, volunteer work, or extracurriculars in this area. A good place to start is seeing if you have a local Key Club/Kiwanis Club that helps with community services on a volunteer basis. You can also search for internships or volunteer positions with your local judges, lawyers, or the chamber of commerce.

Another option is looking into local
or state level political campaigns to volunteer with canvassing, phonebanking, rallies, etc. This can also help you with networking. You can additionally look for any DNC, DSA, RNC, etc. chapters in your area to inquire about any internships or volunteer opportunities. Though, keep in mind these opportunities will likely vary depending on if an election is going on.
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