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Internship Rant

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Internships

This may be totally obvious…but based on some experiences I’ve had over the last couple of weeks, I feel a manifesto coming on. Hopefully some of these ideas might be useful to you…

1) Internships Are Not Jobs

Just because they happen in the workplace, sometimes folks have a hard time detangling the idea of an internship from a job. Jobs involve producing a work product; internships involve learning. Just because it happens in the workplace doesn’t mean an internship is a job. While jobs may involve learning; internships must.


2) Stipend Is Not Salary

When interns get paid, that’s great and may open up an opportunity to somebody who otherwise couldn’t do an internship. Of course, if a student can learn from an internship that doesn’t offer a stipend, that’s great too. But any funds interns receive shouldn’t be considered compensation. Stipends are meant to defray living expenses during the course of internship, just like a scholarship. If an intern gets a salary, that’s compensation, which means it’s a job, not an internship. A student might learn during a job, but they might not. A student must always learn during an internship, whether they receive a stipend, or not. Do you have stipends based on the number of hours an intern does an internship? If so, you might be treating your stipend like salary without realizing it.


3) Interns Have Mentors, Not Supervisors

Folks who work with interns in the workplace are mentors, not supervisors. Interns have mentors; employees have supervisors. Don’t let your hosts use the wrong nomenclature; the terms will help them approach internships the right way.


4) Qualifications

Job listings ask for qualifications to produce work product. Internship listings can also ask for qualifications, but as prerequisites to learning. Just like many formal curricula require course 101 before course 102, an internship might require a student to have some prerequisites – but those prerequisites should be to scaffold learning, not to produce work.

Bonus idea: this changes the typical employer rhetoric from “we want a diverse pool of candidates, but of course everybody has to be qualified” to mentor rhetoric of “we want a diverse pool of candidates, but of course everybody has to be ready to learn.” This can be a powerful tool for diversifying the mix of people who gain access to the working world through internships.


5) Mentor Benefits

A lot of focus is put on the benefit host organizations get from the work interns provide. I would argue this benefit is often pretty marginal, at best. Mentoring takes a lot of time and correcting an intern’s work is often only slightly easier, or altogether more difficult, than just doing the work at a staff level the first time. On the other hand, the real benefit mentors receive by mentoring interns is that they become better managers, they become better organized, new ideas and energy are brought to an organization, a stagnant workplace is reinvigorated. Internships are about learning – but it’s not just the interns who learn. Mentors learn a lot too, and that is the most important reason host organizations should accept interns.

  • Make the distinction between internships and jobs
  • If money is involved with an internship, it’s not compensation
  • Empower employers to identify themselves not as just supervisors, but mentors
  • Any qualifications are prerequisites for learning
  • Mentors benefit not through interns’ work, but through mentorship itself


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Be a Cyber Intern in Washington, DC

Posted by on Sep 13, 2015 in Internships

AARP seeks as State Communications Intern

HRStrategic Consulting and Career Coaching is looking for a sales and social media marketing intern to start RIGHT AWAY!

GEICO is looking for a part time business analyst intern

FWG Solutions is looking for a cyber security intern

Mercy Corps wants you to be their Southeast Asia Resilience Intern is still looking for a marketing and SEO intern

SKWR kabobline is looking for a PR intern

The WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities is hoping to find a research intern

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Construct an Internship in Washington, DC

Posted by on Sep 12, 2015 in Internships

Health Security Partners is looking for a Fall 2015 Policy and Advocacy Intern

It looks like United Chinese Communities is actively recruiting interns for the fall

Food and Water Watch is also looking for interns for the 2015-2016 school year

Apply before September 30 to be a development intern at the American Farmland Trust

Marigold & Grey, an e-commerce site for brides and grooms is looking for a fall intern. If you’re interested in learning about the wedding industry this may be one for you

Education Reform Now is looking for interns – email to find out more

The Mellman Group, a Democratic polling firm is also looking for interns – email to find out more

National Geographic Maps seems to be looking for an intern

Interested in learning about construction? Then this construction management internship at Clark Construction may be just for you



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A Chorus of Internships

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in Internships

Think all the great fall Washington, DC internships are already taken? Think again…

The American Association for Justice is looking for a State Affairs Intern

Applications for 2015 Fall internships are also currently being accepted by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters

The Open Road Alliance is also after a fall program intern

Interested in learning about efforts to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas? You might be interested in the Organizing Intern opportunity currently offered by School of the Americas Watch

The Children’s Chorus of Washington is currently accepting applications for Fall 2015 interns

Are you a winner? Then you might want to take a look at the government relations internship opportunity currently being offered by Winning Strategies Washington

FHI360 is looking for an international visitor leadership program intern

Kratos Defense and Security Solutions is after several marketing interns

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Intern In the Gallery

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Internships

Looking for an internship in Washington, DC? Then some of these opportunities hot off the press might be just what you’re looking for…

The Heinrich Boll Foundation, a non-profit organization striving to promote democracy, civil society, human rights, and a bunch of other good stuff is seeking an economic justice/climate finance intern

Winrock International, an organization that works with people in the U.S. and around the world to empower the disadvantaged and increase economic opportunity is offering several internships…

The Results for Development Institute (R4D), a nonprofit trying to bridge the gap between policy analysis and implementation in key areas of social and economic development in low and middle income countries, is seeking a Global Health Innovations Intern

Citizen Schools is looking for a public policy intern to start by September 21, 2015.

Ni Hao. The Institute for China-America Studies wants you to be their US-China Relations Intern

Meanwhile, the Syrian American Medical Society wants you to be their Advocacy Intern

The Atlantic Council of the United States seeks a bunch of interns…

Health Security Partners is looking for a policy & advocacy intern, as well as a strategic communications intern here

The Eastern Congo Initiative needs a communications intern

Studio Gallery is looking for a gallery intern to learn from their Director

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Dive Into An Internship

Posted by on Sep 9, 2015 in Internships

Dive Dive Dive! Oceaneering International is looking for a Mechanical Engineering Intern

Women in International Security is after a gender and global security intern from this September to January 2016

The National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) is accepting applications for part-time interns in its DC National Office this fall

Apply before September 25, 2015 if you are interested in the Website and Digital Initiatives Intern spot with the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

The National Institute for Civil Discourse would like to have a civil conversation with you about the possibility of your becoming their fall Communications Intern. is hoping to fill several internship positions including one for Social Media and Public Relations  and another for Event, Marketing, and PR

A tech startup company based in Chantilly, VA is seeking enthusiastic interns interested in learning about sales and marketing, computer science and software development, or management information systems.

The Foundation Center, an authority on philanthropy, is looking for a customer service-oriented library intern

A creative writing non-profit is seeking interns to help develop workshops for kids ages 6-18

Zero, the nation’s leading prostate cancer nonprofit is looking for an Accounting Intern

Price Benowitz, a downtown law firm, is offering a legal marketing fellowship

The Ciesla Foundation, a film making company, wants YOU to be their intern

The Advocacy Center of the U.S. Department of Commerce wants interns – find out more here

Metabiota, a pioneer in comprehensive risk analytics that improve the world’s resilience to epidemics, is seeking a business development intern

The Smithsonian Networks are seeking a fall production intern






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