Best grad summer internship/fellowship you’ve had?

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Allison Primack 8 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #165460

    Allison Primack

    As masters of public policy students in Washington DC, my classmates and I are consistently encouraged to pursue internship and fellowship opportunities – however, it can be difficult to balance a full-time position and a full class load. Summer time presents the perfect opportunity to take advantage of everything that DC has to offer; having less class allows us to have more time to dedicate to these positions.

    But, because we are grad students, it is especially important that we do not waste our only summer break on an internship/fellowship where we are not able to use our newly-acquired skills from school, and are only asked to make copies and answer phone calls. It would also be ideal to find an internship/fellowship that could potentially lead to a job after graduation.

    So GovLoopers, I am curious…

    What is the best grad summer internship/fellowship you’ve had? (either in or out of DC)

    Does your agency have a good fellowship program for grad students?

  • #165474

    Allison Primack

    Here is an example that was shared on GovLoop’s Facebook:

    Chris Boho My jurisdiction has several internship programs in place and i was a participant in a program called the Management Internship Program. It was a fantastic program and it helped me land the position I am in today. Here is a link to some of the programs they offer

  • #165472

    Corey McCarren

    For me, the GovLoop fellows program. It’s my last day, but it’s been great! I’ve learned an extraordinary amount about analytics and improved my writing here as well.

  • #165470

    Julie Chase

    Question: What is the best grad summer internship/fellowship you’ve had? (either in or out of DC)

    Answer: Outside DC, intern/fellowships do not exist. No funding. And if it’s a non-paid gig, the grad students and undergrads will not work for “free”. Something about student loan requirement. (Oh, yeah, they have to be paid back)

    Question: Does your agency have a good fellowship program for grad students?

    Answer: Are you kidding? DoD, DoN/MC never heard of such a program. The last time a grad (or undergrad) student interned here was 2008. Why did it go away? It was a great program. Answer: NO FUNDING

  • #165468

    William Lim

    On the contrary, there are plenty of unpaid government internships. My agency has 40 at my location alone. Some are coming with stipends provided by their school or an outside foundation. Others are living at home or with relatives to save on housing costs. For those who cannot rely on parents/spouses, outside funding, savings, or second jobs, the debt loads are outrageous but they are still making do.

  • #165466

    Julie Chase

    In this economy, only trust-fund babies are doing un-paid internships. Out in the real world, the middle class kids “need employment”, and unfortunately, Uncle Sam is not hiring (outside the beltway anyway).

  • #165464

    William Lim

    Be that as it may, I decided to reply to your first comment because I didn’t think it was particularly helpful to this discussion for you to be speaking in such absolute or sarcastic terms. The truth is, there are unpaid internships out there at all levels of government inside and outside DC, and graduate students of all economic backgrounds are still taking them. Some of them are taking on more debt in order to take an unpaid internship. If the issue then is how can we make unpaid internships more economically feasible for students of limited means, then let’s have that conversation. But making blanket assumptions about “trust-fund babies” doesn’t get us anywhere.

  • #165462

    Julie Chase

    Where? California, Miami, Chicago, DC, NYNY, Detroit, I would rather have him live in his car in the local WalMart parking lot.

    I live in the most “military friendly” state in the southeast. Where are the “internships”? I was speaking “truthfully” and “realistically”. There are NO INTERNSHIPS for recent grads in this area where DoD resides. We have engineers retiring by the bucketload, and no one is taking their place. The STEP “ended”, in 2008 when funding ran out according to USMC. (this was before the Vet Group went to court and put the kibosh on the SCEP and STEP).

    Why in the world would I ask my children to “take on more debt”? Who is going to loan them money so they can work for “free”? This is the “real world”. Grads out there are having a tough time and are losing patience with Uncle Sam. Pie crust promises, easily made, easily broken. The money is not there, and consequently, these young people are going to the private sector.

    It’s not a “Shiny Happy People” world out there. I am living in the real world. My recent college grad and a many of his peers, moved right back home when they found “there are no jobs”. Would I encourage him to take an “unpaid” internship? If he is living at home, “maybe”. But there aren’t any.

    So, how can we make unpaid internships more economically feasible for students of limited means? Put the internships (federal), where the students “are” living, locally. I have already inquired, “Can my son work with the engineers doing some drafting work as a volunteer or intern?” The answer from HR was a resounding “NO”. Reason, “liability” issues to the federal government. (hurt on the job, coming to and leaving work, workmans comp, etc, etc,) It was explained quite clearly.

    I am speaking in absolutes, because there are absolutely no intern jobs (federal) at any of the eastern NC military installations. Question asked and answered.

    If a student or recent grad can intern in DC, somebody, “mom and dad” are footing the living expenses. (aka trust fund babies) My DH and I are paying back our son’s student loan. I’m a GS05, how’s that for a realistic salary? And did I mention, BRAC is looming large around the corner? Add to that a 3 year (and maybe more frozen salary) a mortgage, plus every other bill a family has themselves obligated to pay.

    If you would like ask DoD where are the “internships” at military installlations in the southeast. DoN will let you know there aren’t any? Why? “funding”, “cutbacks”, “BRAC”, “downsizing”, “realigning”.

    I did my homework, before I answered the question. I knew the answer before the question was ever asked. Grads here are working at Lowe’s and MickeyD’s. This is the “real world”.

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