Internships

Whom Do You Contact If Interested?

The best place to start is Dr. Johnson, who is the political science department's internship coordinator. 

By e-mail: jjohnson@carroll.edu
By phone:  447-5404

Nisan Burbridge (nburbridge@carroll.edu/447-5465) in Career Services is another great place to get information about internship opportunities and requirements. 

Why Do An Internship?

An internship is a great opportunity to apply the lessons from the classroom to the real world.  Interns have a chance to learn new skills, network with professionals, and get a taste of what you can do with a political science degree in the real world.  Plus, internships count towards your hours for completion of the major.  Additionally, you can customize your internship to fit into your own schedule.  Internship times are flexible, and your internship can be 1, 2, 3 or more course credits. 

What Can You Do For Your Internship?

Political science internships take all sorts of forms.  Students can work in law enforcement, at the capital, or with a state agency.  Other students work with lawyers, lobbyists, and political parties.  Being in the state capital, there are a wealth of options for students.  Remember, if you don't see an internship posted you're interested in - you can always make your own!   

How Do You Go About Getting an Internship?

The first step is going to be downloading the Internship Student Guide and Approval Form from Career Services. The internship form will tell you a lot more about what an internship is, and what the expectations are for completing an internship. Most importantly, the form lays out the process you need to complete to get your internship.

The most critical step is going to be writing your internship proposal. At this stage, you will identify where you will be interning and what your duties will be. Significantly, the department asks that your internship work be substantive. We don't want you out there just getting coffee or filing papers. We want you engaged in the real work of the agency, and involved in projects of your own.

In addition, we would like for your internship to be an intellectual as well as a professional experience. Therefore, your final grade for the internship will have three components. First, you are required to keep a weekly journal. Each journal entry should be 1-2 pages in length, and discuss what you did that week and what you learned (about political science) from your tasks. Second, you are expected to write an 8-12 page research paper. Your research paper should relate your experiences to broader political issues, whether those are substantive policy concerns (the environment, health care, poverty etc) or theoretical issues (how do institutions work, what is the nature of electoral politics). In other words, the paper is not just a summary of what you did, it is a critical analysis that utilizes political science research. Finally, your grade also depends on an evaluation of your site supervisor and the internship coordinator. So, you not only have to learn a lot from your internship, you also have to work hard and do your work well!

Alumni Spotlights

Sarah Brown
Class of 2012

Sarah BrownSarah Brown has been hired by the Vancouver Housing Authority as a Property Assistant.  She helps manage over 230 low income public housing units and is in charge of ensuring that all tenants qualify for housing, are meeting the requirements of their lease, and are getting the necessary help to become self sufficient.  Sarah states that her multiple  internships while at Carroll, particularly her senior internship at the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Office in Helena, helped to secure a job in this tough economic climate.

Abby Hoover
Class of 2011

Abby Hoover"Currently, I am a first law student in Boise, Idaho at Concordia University School of Law. My political science degree prepared me far better than I ever could have imagined for graduate and law school. During my four years, my substantive knowledge increased tremendously, but more importantly, my critical thinking skills, analytical writing and my overall ability to communicate complex thoughts improved dramatically.

"The political science department at Carroll is intellectually demanding, individually tailored, mentally stimulating and highly recommended."