Internship Search and Placement
Should I do an internship?
When deciding whether to do an internship, you must decide if you can fit it in your schedule. A typical three credit hour internship takes up about 15 hours a week of your time (10 working/placement hours, travel time, writing journals and the internship seminar).
What should I do for an internship?
Choose an internship that relates to the career you would like to pursue or experience you would like to have. For example, if you are interested in pursuing a career in urban planning, then interning for a law office might not be all that helpful. Do not simply take any internship opportunity; it is well worth it to take your time and explore many options before deciding on a particular internship.
Beyond career explorations, an internship may provide an opportunity to experience grassroots politics, particularly during election seasons, but also through many nonprofit community organizing groups.
We are experiencing a record number of students in internships as students are aware of the potential link between an internship and great jobs after graduation. When we ask our students why there are so many doing internships, the overwhelming response is to prepare themselves for jobs after graduation.
This should give you some idea about how many different kinds of internships are possible:
- Political campaigns
- Administrative agencies of Federal, state and local governments
- Public defenders
- Public safety
- Many different kinds of nonprofits
Also, if you are in the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA) Program, you can receive academic credit for your required internship.
Where should I look for internships?
This searchable spreadsheet [XLSX] contains the internship placements that have hosted our students in the past few years.
Agencies often reach out to the Political Science Department with internship opportunities. Explore the list of current internship postings.
Below are some helpful search websites:
- State of Michigan Internship Program
- Intern in Michigan (connects internship seekers and employers based on skills, interests and requirements)
- Idealist, a search website for volunteer opportunities, nonprofit jobs, internships, and organizations
Students should feel free to find other internship placements beyond those listed on the web site, but you should discuss these with Dr. Plagens and obtain his approval.
When should I start looking for an internship?
It is important to start your search for an internship placement at least a full semester prior to the semester in which you plan to do your internship! And if you’re interested in something in Washington, D.C., or abroad, you should begin your search a full year in advance, as many of these opportunities are competitive and require applications long in advance of the start dates.
If you are interested in an internship for an upcoming semester, email Dr. Plagens with your interest, and set up an advising appointment.