Introduction to Internship
An internship is a professional development experience that enhances your education by providing an opportunity for you to
Explore work and career pathways in public and community service
Apply classroom knowledge and skills to professional projects and workplace solutions
Develop highly valued transferable skills and competencies in leadership and management
Build professional relationships and establish yourself as an emerging professional
Understand recruitment and hiring processes and trends for a successful transition and gain a competitive edge in today’s marketplace!
Junior or senior students planning to graduate in August or December 2024 should prepare now for internship in the Summer or Fall 2024. On average, identifying, seeking, and securing an internship takes approximately 3-6 months. New Applications for summer and fall 2024 will be accepted February - May, 2024.
The School of Public Affairs (SPA) Internship Program
The SPA Office of Career and Professional Development assists students seeking a Bachelor of Science in Public Service and Public Policy (all concentrations) to explore career interests and build career readiness and competencies through internship, service-learning and other professional development activities. Graduate students pursuing a Master's of Public Administration, Master's of Public Policy, or Master's of Emergency Management & Homeland Security may also elect to participate in professional development activities to enhance skills and experience for post-graduation employment and advancement. Both undergraduate and graduate students may earn academic credit toward their degree for their work-learning experience, through participation in the Internship course, PAF484 or PAF584, respectively.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) research has found a strong positive relationship between student participation in internships and increased probability of receiving professional employment offers while searching for post-graduation work prior to and upon graduation. Recruiting and hiring in the field of public service is no different than other occupations - Everyone wants to hire knowledgeable and skilled candidates.
First steps to identifying, seeking, and qualifying an internship for professional development
1. Attend a SPA Internship Introduction Session -recommended: one semester prior to the semester that you plan to participate in an internship and the PAF484 or PAF 584 course. Register for an Introduction Session. Virtual workshops for students seeking Summer or Fall 2024 internships are scheduled, Fridays 12-1 pm, February 9 through April 19.
2. Prepare a SPA Internship Application for Summer and Fall 2024
3. Meet with the Internship Coordinator for an Intake Interview, to learn about current opportunities, review your application and promotional materials, develop a search plan, or qualify an internship for which you have been selected for credit and participation in the PAF484/584 course, during the same semester. Intake Interviews for summer 2024 will be conducted from February through May 2024.