Congressman Michael Turner

Representing the 10th District of Ohio

Internships Beneficial to Students

Feb 27, 2009
Column
The jobs and careers of tomorrow’s economy will require our young people to be more knowledgeable and competitive than ever before. It is critical that the students and young people in our communities and neighborhoods engage in many significant and varied growth opportunities.
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By Congressman Michael Turner

The jobs and careers of tomorrow’s economy will require our young people to be more knowledgeable and competitive than ever before. It is critical that the students and young people in our communities and neighborhoods engage in many significant and varied growth opportunities. During this difficult economic period, many young people may also be considering new career fields or becoming more interested in public service.  Internships are one outstanding way for students to obtain real world experience. My offices in Dayton, Wilmington, and Washington, D.C. provide an enjoyable and educational opportunity for the many students that serve as interns.

Interns are responsible for completing many critical tasks in my offices. In the Washington office, their tasks range from sorting the mail and answering phone calls to giving tours of the Capitol and conducting research with full-time staff. Often they develop interests in one or more issues and will use their newly found knowledge to write end-of-semester research papers for their college classes.

Internships in a Washington, D.C. congressional office provide tremendous learning opportunities. Interns directly participate in the process of democracy by daily interaction with congressional staff and constituents. Over the course of their internship, a student may be able to attend oral arguments at the Supreme Court, Congressional hearings on topical issues, and lectures given by world renowned scholars and statesmen.

For those students who wish to stay closer to home, internships in my Dayton and Wilmington offices are also of tremendous value. Here, students will have the opportunity to provide direct assistance to constituents of the Third Congressional District. In addition to contributing by performing administrative tasks, students will learn how best to help constituents who are seeking assistance from the federal government. In many cases, interns have provided my staff with critical research and valuable assistance in helping resolve difficult situations for constituents.  

There are a number of ways to apply for an internship. The application for internships with my Congressional office can be found at http://turner.house.gov/ConstituentServices/Internships.htm. The website provides interested students with details about everything that must accompany their application. Students applying for an internship should also expect an interview to be part of the process.

Another way to become an intern in Washington is through one of the many national internship programs available to students. One example is the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars (www.twc.edu). This program provides not only an internship but also housing and academic courses in addition to credit for their work. Prominent political leaders often visit the Washington Center to give speeches and lectures to students. Once a student is accepted to the program, The Washington Center circulates the student’s application to various offices. These applications are reviewed using the same process as those students who apply directly to our office. There is no deadline for the application, but I encourage those interested in serving as interns to submit applications as soon as possible.

Upon completion of their internship, interns either return to their colleges with new skills, contacts and experiences, or they land full-time jobs. In fact, several Members of Congress, many staffers on Capitol Hill, and several members of my staff, began their careers in public service as an intern. Whichever path they choose, these bright young people leave their internships better informed and with a more complete understanding of public service. These students are also more prepared to contribute in their chosen profession because of the experience they gain as a part of our team. I enjoy meeting these energetic students, and would encourage any student to consider public service through an internship.