Group of Wisconsin in Washington students on White House balcony

Wisconsin in Washington: Internships

Interning

Are you a student wanting to intern in DC? Here's what to expect on our program.

Students seated at a talking to Senator Paul Ryan

Host an Intern

Interested in hosting a student intern from UW-Madison? Learn more about our internship guidelines.

Wisconsin in Washington students

The internship set up was great. It gave you the flexibility to pursue individual interests and forced you to determine your own path.
Bola, Steve, and Sam were all incredible teachers - I learned a lot both in the class setting and also got more out of the DC experience because of them.

Former program participant

 

Preparation

Students are expected to take the lead on their internship search and preparation. The program requires one day off a week for classes, which must be communicated in the internship search process. For those interested in government agencies, many of those applications will be due before you are admitted to the program. Please note that internships with security clearance requirements may take 6-9 months to process and we cannot guarantee the timing will line up with the program.

Once you are accepted to the program, you will enroll in an online non-credit course designed to prepare you be a competitive applicant during your internship search. This course is integral to your success in obtaining an internship in Washington, DC and all students are expected to complete it.

Our program staff will work closely with you to help you identify and clearly articulate your interests and skills. This is essential to helping you discover all the possible internships that align with your priorities and strengthening your interviewing technique.

We will provide you with internship listings and resources to assist you with your search and expect that you keep program staff updated on your progress.

Interning

You’ll intern 30+ hours per week while completing coursework designed to enhance your internship experience.

As an intern, you will be challenged to engage in substantive work and are expected to understand the mission, structure, and goals of your internship organization.

Internship placement is not guaranteed but program staff will work closely with you to ensure a successful experience.

This program is professional boot-camp and the best decision I made in college.
– M. Warren, Former Program Participant

 

“The program prepared us well for our internships. We had incredible guest speakers and very helpful alumni.”
– Former Program Participant

Internship Hosts

Monument in Washington

  • Atlantic Council
  • Brookings
  • CBS
  • Center for International Environmental Law
  • Department of Commerce
  • Medstar Health
  • National Center for Health Research
  • NBC
  • Ocean Conservancy
  • Save the Children
  • State Department
  • UN Foundation
  • Vital Voices
  • Voice of America
  • and more!

Full Internship List

Hosting an Intern

Students participating in the Wisconsin in Washington program take a semester of university credit while interning for up to 32 hours per week (Spring, Fall) and 40 hours per week (Summer) for the duration of the semester. The actual daily work hours are to be worked out by mutual agreement between the sponsor and the student, and should allow for related program activities such as seminars, field trips and attendance at symposia, panel discussion, and other events when appropriate. We ask that supervisors informally monitor the hours per week, since this is a basic course requirement.

HOST’S ROLE

To ensure a successful internship experience for the student, the internship agency will be asked to:

  • Designate a supervisor who will take responsibility for the student: providing a link to the agency,discussing operations and policy, answering questions, monitoring activities, evaluating performance,and generally seeing that the student has meaningful, substantive responsibilities.
  • Provide clearly defined tasks and projects appropriate to the student’s status and experience.
  • Provide an orientation session and the resources and training necessary to complete assigned projects.

STUDENT’S ROLE

To ensure a successful internship experience for the host organization, the student intern will be expected to:

  • Apply knowledge and skills beyond the classroom, show initiative and willingness to learn, and complete assignments in a timely and professional manor.
  • Behave professionally: observe agency rules, including punctuality and decorum; avoid involvement in office politics; respect and maintain confidentiality; and dress in an appropriate manner (the“appropriate” dress, of course, will vary from agency to agency).