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04. On So Many Options

June 9, 2011

Well, friends, DC is less than three months away and I still haven’t started my applications. That’s not too atypical, since most places have deadlines in early-mid July. But it seemed like a good idea to list all the places I’m considering applying to. So without further ado, here we go, in no particular order:

American Foreign Policy Council

Deadline: July 1

Paid?: No

Most of these internships are research-based, which is what I suppose I’m looking into the most heavily. The AFPC internship also offers a “programming” internship, which seems to be more logistics and events planning than research, but I’m not sure how interested I am in that. They are looking for people with skills in Russian and an interest in foreign policy and national security, so I’m sure it would be something challenging.

Brookings Institute

Deadline: ?

Paid: No

Brookings institute is one of the big think tanks in DC, doing research in many different areas. The only thing that I don’t like about the application process for this is that it’s all based on what postings are available at the time, and from what I’ve seen, the postings themselves are few and far between.

Center for International Policy

Deadline: July 14th

Paid: No

Research, administrative, planning, human rights, democracy, etc. Basically your usual type of think-tank.  It seems intense and has a lot of research areas where you can apply. I think I’m most interested in the National Security and Development/Fundraising, dealing with the US in Iraq and intelligence reform as well as fundraising and development.

Center for American Progress

Deadline: July 11

Paid:Monetary stipend and a transportation subsidy

Research, writing, web-based projects. The fact that this offers a subsidy is a really big deal for me, since I just realized that I’d be doing the same thing in most of these internships and at least here I’d be getting paid for it. The only downside to this is that the Center is a really big organization and I’d have to really make the effort if I wanted to be recognized or have opportunities outside of my basic job duties. Again, there are a lot of different departments available for internships, but I’m most interested in the National Security department. Though this looks like a more journalism based internship rather than a research one.

Council on Foreign Relations

Deadline: None, but apply early

Paid: Small stipend upon completion

I feel like getting paid is more important the more I think about it because I’d basically doing the same thing at every internship. Administrative work, program coordination, research, editing, writing, etc. This one seems like a more journalistic think tank type of thing again.

Center for Strategic and International Studies

Deadline: August 31

Paid: Stipend based on financial need

This is one that actually seems really legit. I hate to be so vain, but when an organization’s website looks good, I can’t help but be more interested by it. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t feel as good about the CIS internship, but the CSIS looks like it has everything together.  I’m not sure exactly what I’d be doing, but the organization looks pretty legit.

Institute for Policy Studies

Deadline: July 15

Paid: No

This think-tank claims to be the oldest and largest multi-issue think tank promoting “progressive thought.” You’d be working with a researcher on some public policy issue doing research, writing, and advocacy. The website provides a list of projects you can choose to work on. Only thing I don’t really like about it is that it seems to be a lot more focused on advocacy, which isn’t something I really want to do. I’d rather research than fight for something.

Kennan Institute

Deadline: ?

Paid: No

One of the alums working in the DC program office had an internship at the Kennan Institute, a sub-research area of the Woodrow Wilson think tank. I like that this is focused on Russia, Soviet Union and Eastern European politics and offers research projects with professors in these areas. Could be fun. I heard it’s a lot of work, but work can be fun.

National Democratic Institute


Paid: Yes

As with the Brookings Institute, this is an internship based on current project openings, so you have to be lucky enough to find something that you’re interested and knowledgeable in and then hope that no one else got it before you. The internships all seem to be very heavy committment – like 40 hours a week commitment – but it’s paid, and I suppose that makes it worth it.

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