Washington Internships

Washington Internships: How to Get Them and Use Them to Launch Your Public Policy Career

Deirdre Martinez
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 160
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt3fhk2p
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  • Book Info
    Washington Internships
    Book Description:

    For students interested in a career in politics and public service, Washington Internships is an invaluable guide to landing that crucial first position in America's capital. Deirdre Martinez, a former policy analyst and legislative director, shares practical strategies for each phase of the internship process. She has helped place hundreds of young people in internships of all kinds, and shares not just what to do but when to do it. The book shows how to develop relevant interests, what skills to develop, how to enhance the resume (poli sci course work not required!), and how to ace the interview. Just as important, it shows how to become a valued intern and build the relationships that lead to post-graduation job offers. Washington Internships also provides insider tips on dealing with grunt work, the pitfalls of "crossing the aisle," and how to find summer housing, deal with background checks, and negotiate Washington fashion ("zombie chic"). Washington Internships is the only career publication focused on entry-level policy and government work. It covers all branches of government, federal agencies, lobbying firms, advocacy organizations, and think tanks. Whether you're a young activist or a future power broker, this book will help you grab the first rung of the public service career ladder.

    eISBN: 978-0-8122-0620-3
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-x)
  3. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-6)

    Washington, D.C., has been called the “internship capital” of the United States, and with 20,000 interns every summer, the name probably fits. More than any other city, Washington welcomes interns with open arms, giving students the opportunity to see how the United States government functions up close and personal. In Congress, media organizations, lobbying offices, and nonprofits, interns open mail and answer phones and run errands but they also write policy briefs, get published, and hear Members of Congress use words they wrote.

    Washington is at once a small town whose streets and neighborhoods will quickly become familiar to you...

  4. CHAPTER 2 WHO DOES WHAT, AND WHERE, IN WASHINGTON
    (pp. 7-40)

    The centers of all three branches of the U.S. government are in Washington. Also situated in the city are the headquarters for the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, and other national and international institutions, including labor unions and professional associations. With thousands (and thousands) of internships to choose from in Washington, it may be difficult for you to decide how to limit your search. If the idea of working just about anywhere in Washington excites you, bringing your list of potential employers down to a page or two will require...

  5. CHAPTER 3 FINDING THE RIGHT INTERNSHIP
    (pp. 41-62)

    After reading Chapter 2, you should be able to narrow your search list to one or two categories. In addition to limiting your list by type of organization, you’ll also want to think about topic areas that are of interest to you, what skills you have that will make you a stronger candidate, and you may wonder how your political views will affect your internship search. In addition to answering the above questions, the ultimate goal of this chapter is to help you identify internship opportunities and develop a list of potential internship sponsors. Campus-based, print, and online resources are...

  6. CHAPTER 4 LANDING THE INTERNSHIP
    (pp. 63-86)

    This chapter guides you through the nuts and bolts of applying, following up, interviewing, and accepting an offer. While much of the guidance provided in this chapter could pertain to any job application process, the advice is tailored to the particular nature of the Washington internship universe, where a final offer can often be contingent on obtaining top secret security clearance, one internship position announcement can get hundreds of applicants, and hiring decisions are typically made after a telephone rather than an in-person interview. The chapter includes discussions with a range of internship sponsors on how they choose from the...

  7. CHAPTER 5 PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR LIVING AND WORKING IN WASHINGTON
    (pp. 87-100)

    Having found your internship, you may be looking forward to packing your bags and heading off for a great adventure in the nation’s capital. Before you do, there are a few things you’ll need to figure out. Finding a place to stay and making sure you live reasonably near where you’ll be working are worth thinking about well in advance of your departure date. This chapter offers an introduction to Washington and gives you some ideas about things you’ll want to do while you’re there.

    Washington is divided into four quadrants: N.W., N.E., S.W., and S.E. The quadrants radiate out...

  8. CHAPTER 6 TACTICAL ADVICE: HOW TO BE A GREAT INTERN
    (pp. 101-122)

    This chapter offers plenty of advice on being successful in your internship. One thing you should remember is that the work of Washington is fueled in large part by the labor of interns. While there may be some supervisors who see you as just free labor and who don’t intend to mentor you or help you find a job after you graduate, they are in the minority and you will have avoided them because you asked all the right questions during your interview. Most employers really do value your contribution; Liz Conroy in Senator Casey’s office says, “We just have...

  9. CHAPTER 7 USING THE INTERNSHIP TO PROPEL YOUR CAREER
    (pp. 123-136)

    As Washingtonians know, they live and work in a small town where networking is the key to career advancement. Students new to Washington will benefit from taking full advantage of networking to prepare for their careers. Tips on making contacts and keeping them, how to network, and what to expect from the networking process are included in this chapter.

    Earlier chapters abound with stories from students and sponsors about the benefits of an internship in Washington. Students acquire research skills, content area experience, and ideas about where they want their career paths to go. You also will have had an...

  10. WEBSITES MENTIONED
    (pp. 137-138)
  11. INDEX
    (pp. 139-144)
  12. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. 145-146)
  13. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    (pp. 147-147)