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Tips & Advice

Intern This Summer

With the summer in full swing and classes suspended, most youth has an excess of free time. You might relax with friends by the pool or go watch an awesome movie, but then what? You still have a lot of time left over, and that's valuable time you don't want to waste. Have you considered getting an internship? Many organizations look for young people to intern with them over the summer. While only some interns receive pay, all interns get valuable work experience. If you intern in a field that suits your interests, you can learn new things, meet new friends, and have a great time!

Meet Zach Praiss. He is a rising sophomore at Cornell University and alumnus of Clayton High School in St. Louis, Missouri. He plans to major in Government with a minor in Architecture. He wanted to see first had how government agencies work; the best way for him to learn more about his major it is at the source. An internship can provide that opportunity! His internship includes 5-weeks in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill and 5-weeks in St. Louis in a district office.

What do you actually do in an internship? That depends on the field of your work and the nature of your interning organization. For instance, Zach describes his internship, "it boils down to assisting office staff, conducting legislative research, interacting with constituents through phone calls and mail, completing various administrative tasks, and attending congressional briefings and hearing." An internship usually involves a plethora of responsibilities and tasks, so you will always be on your toes and never bored.

In addition, internships can surprise you. Because internships let you dive right into a field, you get to see things you never saw before. In Zach's case, before he started his internship, he thought that Congress was just the 535 elected officials that made decisions, but through his experience,  he has "come to realize that behind each member of Congress stands a hardworking, dedicated, and passionate staff. These staff play a significant if not vital role in the daily functions of the legislative staff."

Zach encourages, “anyone with an interest in politics to start by getting involved with politics at a local or state level. This could be anything from just stopping by a public meeting for your local government to joining a campaign for municipal bond issue or state representative."

Finding an internship is not difficult when you have the right resources like VolunTEEN Nation! It's an easy way to have  fun and gain experience this summer.