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Home > For Students > Careers and Resources >

  Finding an Internship  

Whether you're looking for a summer or school year internship, there are lots of tips and resources that can help you. Read 7 quick tips, or go straight to resources, or to a list of state and city government fellowships/internships.

Quick Tips & Things to Remember

  • Network Network Network! Never miss an opportunity to communicate about your areas of interest. Talk with professors who research in your interest area, current and past employers, neighbors, friends, etc.

  • Conduct Informational Interviews: When you meet someone who may be able to help you, ask if you could speak with them again. All experienced professionals were once in your shoes and are often willing to help.

  • Initiate and Thank: Show confidence in yourself and do not be afraid to approach someone who has the job you want. When the conversation is over, show gratitude. Ambition and humility are a winning combination.

  • Update Your Resume: Make sure your resume includes your most recent experiences. Most importantly: tailor your resume to the position/ organization you're pursuing.  And always have friends proofread it!

  • Talk With Your Peers: Your fellow students all have unique experiences from where they worked in the past. Don't be shy! Look to them for advice. Your peers are often your most willing advisors.

  • Evaluate Financial vs. Experiential Gain: Internships are increasingly unpaid or offer only a stipend. Weigh the costs (fees, housing, food, foregone income, etc.) against the valuable experience you could gain and how it will position your future career.

  • Think Ahead: Prepare references and letters of recommendation early. Many professors are inundated with requests, so be sure to ask them far ahead of time. Always plan for unexpected delays.
     

Internship Resources

Interested in a graduate internship at NASPAA? Click here!

NASPAA co-hosts a job board and career website. See PublicServiceCareers.org (go to Find a Job > View Internships)


Please note that the following list is not comprehensive and that
NASPAA does not endorse these sites.

Federal government internships     

Pathways Programs
The Pathways Program for Students and Recent Graduates includes a federal government-wide internship program for students from high school through PhD.  Positions are located across the country, either part-time or full-time.

Feds Hire Vets
Veterans interesting in continuing their public service should look into the many opportunities provided by this new initiative.

US State Department
The State Department manages several internship programs that enable students to get experience in a foreign affairs environment.

US Department of Transportation: Internship Program for Diverse Groups       
The U.S. DOT offers internships in several areas, including planning, economics, public administration, criminal justice.

Note
that many federal agencies have similar opportunities like the two mentioned above. Please go to USAJobs to search more.

Nonprofit internships

Idealist
Search by name, location, or mission for volunteer and internship opportunities at nonprofits worldwide.

Internships in Washington

The Washington Center
A nonprofit organization that connects students to Washington-area internship opportunities. Note that this program and others like it may charge housing and other fees.

Washington Internship Institute
A nonprofit organization that connects students to Washington-area internship opportunities. Note that this program and others like it may charge housing and other fees.

Need to stay near campus? Make sure you check with your school, as it will likely be the best source for internships in your area.

Page updated June 2013