Internships give you valuable job experience, let you learn hands-on, give you direct exposure to politics, and help you make contacts that could be useful when you graduate. Many of them also pay, and you can undertake an internship for 3-6 hours of political science credit.
There are literally hundreds of internships available in politics every year throughout the United States, and many more overseas. Our students have worked with city-county government in Indianapolis, as legislative interns in the Indiana state legislature, in the United States Congress, and even in the White House. They have spent time with local, national and international interest groups, lobbying legislators, making contacts in the media, and helping raise funds and public awareness. They have worked with legislators in programs organized at foreign legislatures, including the British Parliament. And in election years, they have worked on the campaign staff of candidates running for office, right from local government to president of the United States.
Here’s what we recently heard from one our alumni, Darrick Smith, about his experiences as an intern:
"The Political Science department’s internship program was the launching point for my career in government. I interned for two semesters for US Senators Lugar and Quayle in their joint state office. The experience paid off as I was offered a full-time, paid staff position within six months of graduation, and spent nerly ten years as constituent services director and military affairs specialist for three US Senators and a Congressman. The education I received through your department well-equipped me for the diverse issues I worked on throughout Indiana and Washington. I’d encourage every PoliSci major to participate in the program".
Some students find internships for themselves, but we also have information at the IUPUI Career Center here on campus that keeps details of current internships, and can give you advice on finding a position. Once you have been placed, you can enroll for credit through the Department of Political Science, taking 3-6 hours under Y481: Field Experience in Political Science, with the department faculty member of your choice.
For more information, please contact Jasper Sumner.