Students in Costa Rica

Political Science and Public Administration Internships

An internship places you in a professional environment where you learn new practical skills and more fully explore career options. Whether you plan to work in a public agency, legislative affairs or even in the private and non-profit sectors, a well-planned internship can become your singularly most valuable learning experience at WSU.

There is no typical internship. Each experience is tailored to your interests and abilities. In concert with the suggestions of your faculty advisor, you must prepare a basic internship plan that includes your goals and preferred activities in an internship. As a student in either of the political science options (A or B) or in public administration, you would normally prepare an internship plan that includes, but is not limited to, the following types of activities.

Types of Internship Activities

  • Budgeting
  • Campaigning
  • Personnel management
  • Legislative analysis
  • Constituent service
  • City administration
  • Interpretation of election statistics
  • Program evaluation techniques
  • Public finance strategies
  • Strengthen professional relationships
  • Maintaining records of professional growth
  • Policy development

Prepare Early

Since your internship can become a very formative part of your career, it is important to devote serious thought to your career goals, and more importantly, to how these goals can be served by your academic preparation in political science and public administration. Frequent meetings with your faculty advisor and others in the field can help you become aware of your options, but of course only you can chart your own career path.

Every student approaches this process differently. For a small number of students, this is an easy decision. For others, it can be a very difficult search taking several semesters or even years before a manageable number of goals can be identified. If you think you are among the latter, rest assured that you are not alone, but you should start planning now.

Several courses are designed to help you identify your interests; however you should also consider contacting alumni working in the field, attending career workshops, reviewing professional and academic journals, volunteering in community projects and/or political campaigns or even getting active in student clubs and the WSU Student Senate. Most students have begun to develop a manageable number of goals by their junior or senior years. That means you should start now, and download a PDF of the Internship Manual.