steps to get started

Our goal is to prepare each student both professionally and personally for the internship experience in Washington D.C.  Students admitted into the program work closely with advisors to develop a competitive portfolio.  Once accepted into the program, students go to professional development workshops which provide them with valuable information on how to successfully secure an internship, create professional resumes and cover letters, perfect their interviewing skills, and understand the professional environment in DC. You can click here to learn more about Washington DC, the city.

1. Meet with an advisor

After you're admitted, Washington Program advisors will contact you to schedule a one-on-one advising meeting. Come to this meeting with questions you have about the program, a list of internships you are considering, and ideas of careers you would like to pursue after graduation. The more organized you are, the more we can help you!

2. Complete internship search form.

To choose your best-fit internship, you'll need to narrow your search to internships that fall under one of two career fields (e.g government and/or law). Focus on career fields that align with your values, interest, and skills. This form will help us understand your internship preferences.

3. Go to workshops and visit your advisor!

These workshops will prepare you for DC by providing information about professional standards in DC. We are also able to help you during our office hours. If you are struggling to secure an internship and need further assistance, you can contact the Program Administrator in Washington, D.C.

4. Send us your resume for review

DC internships are competitive, so your documents need to be in top shape. We strongly recommend that you send us your resume for review before you apply for internships. Be sure to:

  • Send your resume as a Word document
  • Include the internship description in the email
  • Allow 3-4 days for review

5. Apply to 10 internships & follow up

Apply to ten internships, and follow up within two weeks. Once your resume and supporting documents are complete, apply to internships. We urge you to apply to ten internships and recommend following up with each organization two weeks after you apply to ensure your materials were received. If the organization is unresponsive, contact the Washington Program Administrator in Washington, D.C.

6. Prepare for your interviews

If an organization wants to interview you, they will usually contact you by phone or email to set up a phone interview. Research the organization and have questions for your interviewers. Go through the tough questions in the interview section of the resource manual and prepare bullet point notes to refer to in your interview. Hold mock interviews with your friend/yourself so you become comfortable answering these questions. Test yourself by recording your answers and thinking of ways to improve upon your answers.

7. Evaluate your opportunities

Consider your career goals after graduating and how this internship can prepare you for them. If you receive multiple offers, ask yourself:

  • How do these internships help me achieve my goals?
  • What tasks will I be working on at these internships?
  • Do these internships provide perks such as good location or pay?

If you have only received one offer, consider:

  • How close am I to when I leave for DC? Is it worth waiting to hear from another internship?
  • Have I heard from or when will I hear from other internships? (If no, follow up)
  • How risky would it be to not take this internship?

8. Secure an internship

You are responsible for securing an internship before traveling to Washington, DC. Once you have accepted an internship, complete the I Secured an Internship form.