Internships

Internships

: Frequently Asked Questions

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

What types of internships are available? How does the process of finding an internship work?

The Washington Center is able to find internship placements for students across almost all fields and sectors, regardless of students' majors and professional interests. View some sample internship sites.

 

The internship matching process is driven by individual students' interests. Upon being accepted into the program, you would begin working with an internship advisor. Though The Washington Center is involved throughout the entire process, it is ultimately the student’s decision to accept or decline any internship offer. Please review this information for a detailed description of how the internship matching process works.

 

Are internships paid?

While some students are offered internships that come with some sort of compensation (a small stipend, Metro fare, etc.), the vast majority of sites working with students in our Washington, D.C. Academic Internship Program provide unpaid positions. The Washington Center is an academic program, so you are welcome to explore the scholarships for which you may qualify.

 

Am I allowed to find my own internship?

Students are allowed to pursue their own internship opportunities while still participating in the program. If you are interested in doing so, it is important that you speak with your internship advisor. Someone from our Office of Internship Site Relations will want to be in touch with the potential supervisor at your chosen internship site in order to ensure that you will be provided with meaningful work, confirm that he or she will be willing to complete your evaluations, and verify that he or she is aware of TWC program components, dates, and any other important details.

 

Do students often receive job offers at their internship sites?

During your time with TWC you'd definitely gain experience that you could add to your resume and discuss when applying for jobs or post-graduate study. It is difficult for us to track whether or not students receive permanent offers following their internships. The majority of TWC participants are returning to their colleges or universities to finish their undergraduate degrees following their time in Washington. Others may find that they would like to adjust their future plans as a result of their semester or summer in Washington and do not pursue full-time employment at their internship sites. We are aware, however, that TWC alumni frequently make use of the relationships that they developed during their semester or summer in D.C. to enhance their career prospects, and many are offered positions directly. TWC definitely encourages networking!

 

What would I do as an intern?

The specific tasks for which TWC students are responsible depend heavily on their professional field and the organization for which they're interning. Our goal at The Washington Center is to ensure that students spend most of their time (at least 80%) completing substantive assignments that will help them to learn and grow as a professional.

 

What if I don’t like the internship that I accept or something goes wrong with my internship?

In the event that an internship placement is not meeting an intern’s expectations or something goes wrong, there are procedures in place that allow The Washington Center to first mediate any problems that arise and then, if necessary, to place the intern with a new organization. TWC is unable to take action if we are unaware of your concerns, so it is important to help us address any issues by speaking to your assigned LEAD Instructor.

 

By what date will I confirm my internship?

There is not a specific date by which students confirm their internship sites. The matching process is ongoing and does not end until each student accepts an offer. We'll continue working on your behalf until you have confirmed an internship. Periodically, students may even arrive in D.C. before concluding this process, and in that case you would likely have some interviews in person. We recommend that you stay in touch with your internship advisor to discuss interviews and offers with him or her.

 

I’m studying abroad the semester/summer before I begin my internship. Will this cause any problems related to the matching process?

TWC routinely works with international students attending colleges and universities abroad, so it is absolutely possible to participate in our program directly after returning from studying in another country. You will likely be in contact with your TWC advisor via email and perhaps Skype, due to the challenges of international calling. You should alert any organizations interested in interviewing you to your situation and ask if any prospective supervisors would be willing and able to conduct your interview via Skype if needed.

Experience a Day in the Life of an Intern at The Washington Center

Learn More