WASHINGTON PROGRAM: Internship Placement
Every student who has ever enrolled in the Washington Program has found an internship in Washington. These internships have been in many substantive areas, such as arts and humanities, business and economics, journalism and communications, international relations and foreign policy, health and human services, and civil rights and legal affairs.
Internships can be characterized by both their substance and style. Some internships deal substantively with, for example, trade policy, health care or environmental concerns. Other internships have less substance but offer more hands-on activities and take place in high-profile offices. In terms of style, some internships are research oriented, which means much of the time may be spent working with a database, calling other researchers, or making use of Washington's many libraries. Other internships may place the student at the center of policy making, where it is not unusual to see a cabinet secretary, members of Congress, or even the President. Every intern will be called on to perform some mundane taks - answering a phone, making a photocopy, running an errand. The key is to find a challenging internship that offers the experience and knowledge best for you.
Students in their search for an internship must consciously think about both of these dimensions of work. It is important to begin the search for an internship with the question: What kind of internship - in terms of substance and style - would be a good match for me? While parents, family friends, faculty, and other students can certainly help in this quest, it is ultimately a question that each student must answer individually.
Deciding where to intern will require considerable thought and research concerning work possibilities in Washington. Our suggestion is that this search begin the moment the student seriously considers the Washington Program. The first day of an exciting internship should be the end result of this careful process.