Students who want to expand their education outside the classroom and gain valuable work experience should consider an internship. These internships can expand practical and research skills, provide insights into potential career paths, and build professional connections.
Many students pursue internships without seeking any POL course credit for the experience, which is a valuable experience on its own. However, some students choose to earn POL course credit by signing up for POL 289 and completing a substantial paper and other assignments stemming from the internship experience.
Students who are interested in signing up for POL 289 must receive permission of instructor from the department faculty member who is serving as internship coordinator in the semester when the student is pursuing an internship. Please inquire in the department office about the name of the internship coordinator in the fall or spring or summer when you will be completing an internship and contact that faculty member before undertaking your internship.
Students must have a minimum overall GPA requirement of 3.0 in order to take POL 289
In addition, no more than 3 hours of POL 289 may be counted toward the major. Please note that if you have received up to three credit hours for POL 287 or POL 288 that you are no longer eligible to pursue credit for an internship.
- The specifics about work load/assignments will be determined by the faculty member. As a general guideline, a two-hour credit for Pol 289 entails a journal and a 15-page research paper. If you pursue a three-hour credit, a journal and a 20-page research paper are required.
Pol 289 Internship: Journal Requirements
The purpose of the journal is to brief others on the purposes, content and value of the internship. (1) It should contain a clear specification of the internship’s original terms of reference and of your hopes when beginning it. (2) It should describe the organization in which the internship occurred: its purposes, structure, organization and resources. (3) The journal should make clear your role as an intern, and give a number of examples of typical working days or major projects undertaken. (4) It should also contain some evaluation, by you, of how far the internship lived up to your initial hopes, and of how far it constituted a valuable learning experience for you. Precisely what you learned, and how, should be clearly specified. (5) Your journal should be accompanied by a letter from the organization signaling their satisfaction with your role as internee. (6) You can attach work samples, pictures, etc. to the journal. The overall length of the journal should be about 10 to 15 pages.
Information about Internship Opportunities
WFU’s Office of Career and Professional Development is a good starting point to find out why, when and how you might search for an internship. http://career.opcd.wfu.edu/find-an-internship/
Many students are drawn to an internship experience in Washington, DC. You can find your own placement or join the growing community of WFU students who participate in semester-long internship opportunities as part of the Wake Washington Program.
Each year, the Department of Politics and International Affairs asks graduating seniors whether they were engaged in an internship. About half of them do so during their undergraduate years. The information offers honest feedback on the benefits and drawbacks of particular internships. Common internship positions include work for a variety of NGOs; legislative internships in Congress and in state governments; legal assistants; research analysts; communication and marketing; and consulting.
- Access Internship Reviews
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If you are interested in pursuing an internship abroad, please see http://studyabroad.wfu.edu/course/?cos=Internships. The Center for Global Programs and Studies can help in identifying an internship opportunity that is right for you. Popular destinations for politics and international affairs majors are Australia, Chile, China and many European countries
North Carolina State Government Internship Program: http://www.doa.state.nc.us/yaio/intern-apply.aspx
The American Political Science Association has a page with internship resources.