Is political science the right major for you?
Advocacy and participation have always been at the forefront of change in our world, and when combined with constructive relationships, theoretical knowledge, and an open mind, people have been able to impact their communities for the better. If you’re interested in how government is conducted, or want to make a difference to society through public service, then you should consider majoring in political science during your undergrad studies.
Political science is an extremely versatile field of study that offers many options when it comes to internships (and eventually jobs). You might initially feel called to journalism, but end up wanting to help out in local politics; in the world of poli-sci, there are internships that will help you hone skills for both.
What skills might I need for a political science internship?
Critical thinking, analytical skills, and the ability to effectively communicate information to a team are integral skills for political science internships.
Below, learn about different types of internships for political science majors and specific skills for each.
So, what are good internships for political science majors?
Check out these eight hot internships for political science majors:
1. Campaign Assistant Internship
The majority of individuals running for office in your area are never alone in their campaign. Behind them is a whole team making calls, printing flyers, and organizing speeches to further their candidate’s efforts. A great first step to getting experience in the working political science field is to join campaign efforts as an intern for an official you believe in. In this role you’ll also be able to work with both active community volunteers and industry professionals.
2. Congressional Intern
If you’re interested in government at a higher level, then interning for members of the Senate or the House of Representatives might be the perfect opportunity for you. Alongside performing general managerial duties, you’ll also have the chance to observe congressional happenings first hand. In this role you’ll not only perform administrative tasks, but also attend meetings, file political reports, and gain a deeper perspective about how to conduct oneself in a professional environment.
3. Journalism Internship
If writing and reporting is more up your alley, then consider lending your political science background to the world of journalism. In this role you’ll be able to participate in not only administrative tasks, but also in producing editorial content. You’ll learn about deadlines, writing, editing, and can also form an idea about which content areas you enjoy contributing to. This is a great stepping stone for those who dream of writing, political journalism, or reporting.
4. News Radio Internship
Similar to journalism, interning at a radio station allows you to experience the frontlines of news communication. At a radio station you might help by staying up-to-date on news trends or assisting with segment creation and editing. A background in production and media is beneficial for this role.
5. Nonprofit Internship
If you love helping your community or aren’t quite sure where you’d like to work in the long run, then a nonprofit internship might be your next career step. Your nonprofit internship options depend on the nonprofits in your area and which causes you’re passionate about. Example tasks might include community outreach and organization, raising company awareness, or even working closely with public policy.
6. Research Assistant
If you’re interested in getting more involved with your university, then interning as a research assistant could be a good choice. Not only will you be working closely with professors in your own department, but you’ll also gain great experience analyzing materials, working with academic professionals, and becoming an expert in the research topic at hand. The communication and organizational skills you gather here can be translated into almost any political concentration you might be interested in down the line.
7. Social Media Internship
As news and information outlets find increasing value in an online presence, opportunities like social media internships can result in very valuable experiences. Your political science background in analyzing trends and researching data can lend itself very well to managing PR or marketing efforts. To succeed as a social media intern, you should be a creative thinker, a clear communicator, and be well-versed in internet culture.
8. Legal Internship
Interested in pursuing law? Consider a legal internship to get a taste of working in the legal sector! Between basic clerical duties, exposure to clients, and valuable time observing industry professionals, you'll walk away from this type of internship with a good taste of your future field. You’ll help review and manage cases, while simultaneously learning how to conduct yourself in a professional environment.