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Internships in Politics and Public Administration

A political internship is a requirement for all political science majors, and a wonderful opportunity for non-majors!

What can a political or policy related internship do for you? 

US Senator John Kerry with Todd FoyDevelop leadership skills in your chosen area of politics and public service.

Provide you with concrete skills you can apply in your future job.

Build your resume by gaining work experience.

Establish important professional networks.

The observations and insights gained give you ideas for research papers and help you make better course selections in subsequent semesters.

Help identify your career path.

Give you things to talk about at formal receptions and social gatherings!

Eligibility

You must be a junior or a senior at MCLA with a GPA 2.0 or higher. Your internship placement must be approved by your faculty supervisor, by the Department of History and Political Science, and by the Dean of Academic Affairs.

Requirements

As an intern, you must:

Prepare a brief resume and a cover letter. Work 135 hours during semester (about 10-12 hours a week) to earn 3 credits (45 hours = 1 credit).

Read a short article about your internship.

Keep a weekly journal.

Schedule and attend bi-weekly meetings with your faculty supervisor.

Write and submit a 5-8 page reflection essay at the end of the semester.

Your final grade is based on completion of these requirements and the evaluation of your work, as given by the site supervisor.

Cost

The program does not cost anything beyond normal enrollment.

Interested?

Check out this sample syllabus for an internship course. To apply, follow these steps. 

  1. Consider the type of internship you want.

    National, state, or local political office
    Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branch
    An interest group
    A political party
    A non-profit agency

    Possible sites include the City of North Adams Mayor's Office, City of North Adams Community Development division, the office of Massachusetts State Representative, the office of Massachusetts Senator, New York State Legislature, Springfield D.A.'s office, Adams Police Department, offices of political party leaders, and many more.

    In the past, students have also held internships in a variety of offices in Boston, Washington, D.C., and even the Canadian Parliament!

  2. Schedule a meeting with Professor Ben Taylor.

  3. Write a resume and cover letter.
    You resume should include Education, Special Recognition, Community Service, Job Experience, Interests, Computer Skills, and Foreign Languages. 

    Read these resume and cover letter writing tips. You can also  schedule a meeting with the Career Services Center (413.662.5332).

  4. Have Professor Taylor and the Career Services Center review your resume and cover letter.

  5. We'll fax your completed resume to two or three offices matching your interests.

  6. Once you have an internship site secured, complete the MCLA Internship application (available on the Career Services web site) and submit it to Professor Taylor.