January 14, 2014

Public policy/service internships available

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale now have an inside track to prestigious internship opportunities.

Thanks to the Illinois Board of Higher Education in a partnership with The Washington Center, SIU students are eligible to apply for scholarship money that can bring them to the epicenter of public policy and public service in the nation’s capital. 

The Illinois Washington Center Program, as the scholarship initiative is called, has $100,000 available in scholarships, allocated as 17 internship awards.  Of these, SIU is guaranteed at least two scholarship awards of $6,882 to help pay for the internship. Additional financial assistance is available.

The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars (TWC) provides opportunities for students to work as full-time interns in Washington, D. C., while they complete an academic course and join fellow student interns in structured programming aimed at developing civic leadership.

A particular advantage of The Washington Center is the ability it has to place students in meaningful internships that not only align with their scholarly interests, but also present opportunities to meet and work with professionals in government, lobbying, consulting and public service to whom they might never have access otherwise.

“This is an exceptional opportunity for SIU students to receive on-the-ground experience through highly competitive scholarships,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said. “We are very pleased to make this possible in partnership with the Illinois Board of Higher Education and The Washington Center.”

The internships are available in seven focal areas. They are (with examples of internship opportunities):

Arts, Humanities and Education -- Library of Congress, National Endowment for the Arts, Smithsonian Institution

Business, Economics and Trade -- U.S Department of Labor, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Blackboard, Inc.

Media and Communications – “The Washington Post,” “Meet the Press,” Sirius/XM Radio

Politics -- The White House, Rock the Vote, Cato Institute

International Affairs -- U.S. Department of State, Amnesty International, various embassies

Law and Criminal Justice -- U.S. Marshals Service, National Whistleblowers Center, Interpol

Health, Science and Environment -- National AIDS Network, Environmental Protection Agency, Federation of American Scientists

“This is a fantastic opportunity,” said Roudy Hildreth, associate professor of political science and co-chair of The Illinois Washington Center Competition Selection Committee.  “As someone who has worked in Washington and studies politics, I know that internships are key vehicles to establish networks and are the basis for future jobs.”

Hildreth stressed that an additional benefit to the scholarship and internship program is the breadth of opportunities available, and to virtually every major.  While applicants cannot specify which agency assignment they want, the abundance of opportunities ensures that successful internship applicants will find themselves in an internship aligned with their major interest.

The deadline for students to apply for internships is Jan. 27. Application information is at http://paulsimoninstitute.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=682&Itemid=340.