Internship Advisor

Michael Trevathan
332 Bexell Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331-3703

michael.trevathan@oregonstate.edu

Internship Overview

All Political Science majors and minors are eligible to participate in an internship. An educated and marketable Political Science graduate benefits by enriching their classroom studies in a practical work environment. An internship is a way to gain credit for government or law-related work experience. It's also a great way to explore and understand the workday realities of the legislative, judicial, and administrative processes. Political Science interns work with state, federal, and local officials, and with national and international organizations.

 

Internship Testimonials

Adrienne C. - 2024

Before realizing that I could count an internship for college credit, I was forced to make the hard decision about how my time would best be spent. Each term, I was forced to choose between perusing new career and job opportunities or taking more classes. Both would be beneficial to my career, but each term I was faced with this difficult decision. Taking internship credits through OSU was the best decision I could have made. I got critical career building experience in political science while being able to advance my education and get college credit. Getting credit for this internship allows me to maximize my time and get the most out of my work/college experiences. 

Because of the internship, I now feel more confident in my degree choice and future career path. It gave me real-world examples of the topics that I'd been studying, and directly correlated with what I was learning in my classes. It allowed me to gain hands-on experience and textbook knowledge of our political systems, which is crucial in developing my career. I'm so grateful that I was able to apply what I've learned and the experiences that I have towards earning my major. Prof T was incredibly helpful in answering all of my questions. I didn't know a lot about the internship program going into it, so it was very helpful to have a professor who I could direct my questions to. He outlined the expectations for receiving credit, and provided helpful assistance through every step of the process.

Jacob C. - 2022

My work experience was invaluable. Even the best-intentioned academic program will result in some gap between what you experience in the classroom and what you deal with on the job. The work experience program gives you an opportunity to mesh those two realities together and I believe made me more confident in the education I was receiving. My work study was in a county level department under an elected official which made the experience really rewarding because I was able to experience some elements of local government and some elements of working in the larger government as well. I was able to make a few connections along the way but this also gave me an opportunity to show my employer that I aspire to more and am willing to put in the work to make that happen. So whether more opportunities happen for me at my current job or the connections I've made lead to new opportunities i feel like the overall experience was a win.

Celia L. - 2022

Completing an internship abroad while studying at OSU really opened my eyes to what working in a political office would look like. It gave me the opportunity to gain valuable work experience while earning credit for my degree. I was able to help with everything from helping draft newspaper articles explaining current policy issues to helping research and draft actual policy complaints to New Zealand’s parliament. I improved my written and oral communication skills and learned how to draft documents with a legislative audience. I was also able to attend some of my very first networking events. In these events, I learned how to present myself in a friendly and professional manner as well as improve my self-confidence. I was able to improve not only how I presented myself but learn specifically what to lead with in conversations and how to avoid awkward silences. Through some of these networking connections, I was offered opportunities like attending other networking events or helping in additional projects both inside and outside of my internship.

What do Political Science Interns do?

Internships should provide a meaningful and practical experience, not just copying and filing.  Some examples of things interns have done are: research for a legislative campaign, research for a legal case, working on phone campaigns, drafting materials and documents, and implementing programs.

 

How do I find an internship?

There are three ways: create it through personal contacts in an area of interest; check our weekly emails on the PS listserv for internship requests we receive; or brainstorm with the PS Advisor or Internship Coordinator.

Want to visit Washington, D.C.? There are internship opportunities with House and Senate office, the White House, and many other organizations, think tanks, and corporate offices.

Want to study abroad? Internships are available in many countries.  For more information about doing an internship abroad, visit OSU's Office of International Programs website.

Interested in working locally?  Check out the following websites:

 

Recent Internships

Politics and Government Internships

  • Executive Office of the President (President Biden, 2022)
  • City of Hermiston (2022)
  • Senator Wyden’s Office (2022)
  • Office of Speaker Dan Rayfield (2022)
  • Oregon State Representative Travis Nelson’s Office (2023)
  • Oregon House of Representatives – Dacia Graber (2023)
  • Senator Wyden’s Office (2023)
  • Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office (2023)
  • Office of Congresswoman Andrea Salina (2024)

Civil Society and Think Tanks

  • American Enterprise Institute (2022)
  • Human Rights First (2022)
  • Oregon Justice Resource Center (2022)
  • Corvallis Housing First (2023)
  • College to County Internship (2023)
  • Oyanalytika (2023)
  • Independence Institute (2023)
  • League of Women Voters (2024)

Legal and Law Enforcement

  • Benton Country: Parole and Probation (2022)
  • Morley Thomas Law (2022)
  • Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (2022)
  • King County Department of Judicial Administration (2022)
  • Benton County DA’s Office (2024)
  • Jody Meeker PC law firm (2024)

 

How Do I Get Political Science Course Credit?

 

  • Meet with the Internship Coordinator to get approval for your internship to count for course credit, and to complete the necessary steps in order to register.
  • Sign up for a minimum of 2 credits of PS 410 (max 12 credits). 1 credit equals 30 internship work hours.  Depending on the internship, students may do the hours all at once (an intensive 2-week program totaling 60 or more hours), spread across a term (2 credits = 6 work hours/week X 10 weeks = 60 hours/term) or even spread across multiple terms.
  •  Journal: Students must keep a journal throughout their internship. The length depends on how many credits students are enrolled in. For example, for 2 credits, students should write at least 10 pages. Journals should not simply list duties, but serve as a space for reflection and to draw connections between internship experiences, PS coursework and students' PS degree.
  •  Evaluations: Students must undergo two sets of evaluations, once at the midpoint and once at the end of the internship. Students evaluate their own work, and internship sponsors evaluate student work. Students will discuss midpoint evaluations with their sponsors.
  • Students may also sign up for 2 credits of PS 406, which involves an additional reading and writing component to the internship, though this is not required.
  • You should enroll for course credits during the terms in which you participate in an internship. If students elect to also enroll in PS 406, all course requirements must be completed prior to receiving credit for PS 410.

 

What Makes a "Good" PS Internship?

While you are searching for and/or selecting an internship, keep the following points in mind:

  • Is there someone at the organization that can serve as my sponsor? This person should mentor students, be available for questions and have the time to complete the two required evaluations.
  • Will the internship be connected to my coursework and PS degree? Remember, student journals must include connections between internship experiences and your PS courses.
  • Remember that Political Science is a broad field. Even internships that might not initially appear "political enough" really are. Politics and policies are everywhere. Be creative and critical.

 

 

I've Found an Internship, Now What Do I Do?

  1. Make sure you understand course requirements explained in greater detail in the Internship Overview document. If you have additional questions, contact the Internship Coordinator.
    > Internship Overview
    > Internship Requirements & Checklist
     
  2. Meet with your sponsor. Look over these documents together, fill out the intern-sponsor agreement, sign it, and submit it to the Internship Coordinator.
    > Internship Sponsor Requirements
    > Intern-Sponsor Agreement
     
  3. Meet with the internship coordinator to go over the form and confirm student requirements. After this meeting (in person or online / over the phone for Ecampus students), students can begin the registration process.
     
  4. Begin your internship and start journaling.
     
  5. At the midpoint of  the internship, complete both evaluations. Submit via Canvas.
    > Intern Mid-Term Self-Evaluation
    > Sponsor Mid-Term Evaluation
     
  6. At the conclusion of the internship, complete both evaluations. Submit the student evaluation via Canvas. Sponsors will submit directly to the Internship Coordinator.
    > Intern Final Self-Evaluation
    > Sponsor Final Evaluation
     
  7. Complete and submit, via Canvas, the journal and the student evaluation of the internship.
    > Student Evaluation of Internship
     
  8. Use the internship checklist to keep you on track.
    > Internship Requirements & Checklist