Today most American colleges and universities offer their students opportunities to investigate a number of career options through work-study programs.
One program is an internship. No longer the private domain of medical students, intern programs provide supervised and practical work experience for a student studying in almost any field.
Though some internships provide a salary, most do not. However, there is the added benefit of on-the-job training without a permanent commitment.
The length of an internship varies. Some programs run an entire school term, while others are as brief as a midterm break.
The first stop when looking for a program is at the career planning office at your school. The office should have listings, both local and national, of available programs. One advantage in using a school's listing is that many alumni offer students special placement. If an appropriate internship cannot be found through school, a number of organizations provide assistance. A number of publications break down programs into categories and geographical locations.
The 1980 National Directory of Summer Internships is prepared yearly by students at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges, in cooperation with the schools' career planning offices. A national listing of undergraduate summer programs, the directory is available for $8.50 from: Haverford College, career Planning Office, Haverford, PA 19041.
The Directory of Undergraduate Internship Programs and The Directory of Public Service Intern Programs for Graduate and Post-Graduates are available for 1735 Eye Street, NW, Suite 601, Washington, DC 20006. The society also issues a Directory of Washington Internships for $7.
The Washington Center for Learning Alternatives provides assistance to students seeking programs in Washington, D.C. For the cost of tuition plus housing, the center works with an individual school to provide placement, credit , and financial arrangements. For information, write to: Washington Center for Learning Alternatives, 1705 DeSales Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036.
The United Nations sponsors a number of international programs. For more information contact the United Nations Headquarters, NGO Youth Caucus, c/o Social Development Division, Room DC-977, United Nations, NY 10017.
The American Association for Higher Education offers a book, Where to Look, which gives pointers on how to find the right intern program. Like the other publications, it includes descriptions and categorical listings of internships. It is available for $3 from the association, One Dupont Circle, Suite 780, Washington, DC 20036.
For students interested in national politics there are several Capitol Hill options:
The Republican National Committee offers work throughot the year. Since 1980 is a presidential election year, intern duties will be expanded to include working with the presidential campaign. Contact Mrs. Joan Decaine, Director of Interns, Republican National Committee, 310 First Street, SE, Washington, DC 20002.
The Democratic National Committee also plans to use interns with its presidential nominee and campaign. Writer Jim Nathan, Intern coordinator, 1625 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036.