Government, Public Policy, Public Service
- Figure out your interests, skills, geographical preferences, and work styles.
- What level of government interests you the most?
- Federal, State, Local
- Nongovernmental / Associations / Third Party
- Think Tanks
- Research Governmental Agencies
- White House, State Department, CIA, EPA, NOAA, Homeland Security, NASA, CDC
- Start early: Many government internship applications are due in the fall, which gives you precious little time to pull your transcripts, personal essays, and other documents together before the due date.
- Prepare to be vetted: For many internships that deal with national security issues, students are required to go through a thorough security clearance process. This can take up to six months. Be thorough, leave nothing out, and return the application as soon as possible.
- Have a backup plan: Sometimes a student’s security clearance cannot be completed in the time allotted or the student may fail the security clearance outright. In either case, it is very important to have a second or third option just in case the security clearance process is delayed or falls through altogether. Have other options.
- Reach out to alumni: Chances are that a former student has already passed through a targeted agency or is currently working in a field of interest. Use the contacts to learn about the organization, get interviewing tips, or even have them circulate your resume around the office.
- Interested in law? Visit the pre-law website and sign up for the pre-law list-serv here.
- View our Career Planning Guide & Internship Orientation Guide. Here is an accessible PDF: Internship Orientation Guide.
Industry-Specific Job Boards
The resources below are a combination of general industry information as well as specific job and internship posting sites for this industry.
Recommended Professional Associations
A professional association is an organization of people who have similar career interests. These membership-based organizations often offer a reduced rate for students that allow access to the many resources they provide. Professional association websites can also offer job/internship databases as well as opportunities to find mentors or other contacts.
- American Political Science Association
- Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management
- National Association of Government Employees
- National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
- Partnership for Public Service
- Young Government Leaders
- Young Professionals in Foreign Policy
Company & Industry Research
- Business Insights: Essentials
- D&B Hoovers
- Summer Experience Database
- LinkedIn – Vanderbilt Career Insights Page
- Mango Connects
- Vanderbilt’s Office of Federal Relations