The Political Science Department strongly encourages its students to undertake internships, because of the valuable opportunities students gain in their field of study. In particular, these positions offer students a chance to explore a variety of interests related to government, politics, law, public policy, international relations, economic development, and more. Internships can be invaluable in determining whether you really have an interest in a particular career path and in creating a network of contacts that can help you achieve your career goals after graduation and beyond.
What is an internship?
An internship is a temporary position aimed primarily at education rather than employment. In this respect, it can be thought of as an apprenticeship. Interns are usually university students seeking to develop the key skills needed for placement in their chosen field following graduation.
An internship may be either paid, unpaid, or partially paid. Internship positions related to political science can be found in businesses, government agencies, the offices of individual political leaders, non-profit groups, and other organizations. Although internships in European countries and other areas of the globe are usually unpaid, they are popular among students seeking to gain international exposure and on proficiency in a foreign language.
Internships may be either part-time or full time; typically they are part-time during the university year and full-time during the summer. Internship appointments typically last 6-12 weeks, but can be shorter or longer.
How do I find out about available internships?
Ultimately it is up to the individual student to take the initiative to seek out and acquire internship experience. However, the University of Mississippi makes a number of resources available to help students in this endeavor. The University of Mississippi Career Center compiles information about internship openings, and its staff is always available to help guide you through the application process. The Political Science Department web site also provides information about employers who frequently offer internships. These include positions in the legislative and executive branches of state and federal government as well as in government agencies. Other internship opportunities include working on political campaigns, at political party headquarters, or in non-governmental agencies closely involved in politics and government. Student may also wish to consider the University of Mississippi's Internship Abroad program or volunteering with organizations engaged in human rights and human welfare.