Each Spring, Summer and Fall, FCDC sponsors an internship program for local high school and college students. They help us get organized by contacting voters, improving our contact data, helping with mailers, making campaign buttons, working at events like rallies, parades, fairs, and festivals. The interns meet elected officials, go on field trips to the US Capitol and pick up good job experience that can pay off when they get out of school. Interns must be prepared to work in a fast-paced dynamic environment and will experience the inner workings of campaigns. Assistance obtaining academic credit for eligible students will be provided.
FCDC hires interns for every semester, Fall, Spring and Summer semester.
Is it a paid internship? No, but we do verify any credit hours or certification required by the intern’s school. Also, for any intern who does well, we will be happy to serve as a reference, write a letter of recommendation, or help them in their job search if they are pursuing a career in politics.
Who should apply? Any student in high school or college who has an interest in politics, considers themselves a progressive, and has very general technological abilities is welcome to apply. There is no minimum age, but we do need applicants who can conduct themselves in a professional manner.
How does the application process work? Applicants may either complete the online application, or submit the paper application form, or submit a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Following the application, we will contact the student to schedule an interview either in person or on the phone.
What do interns do? Interns work on preparing for and attending outreach events such as fairs and festivals, conducting research, using social media tools, recruiting and signing up volunteers, learning about the Virginia political system, producing materials for distribution, writing commentary, visiting campaign offices and attending events and fundraisers, managing data, experimenting with new organizing tools, completing special projects, and more.
What are the dates and times of the internship? Internships are remote with varying hours for the foreseeable future. We are flexible and we work with the students on their hours. Most interns work about three days a week. The term is similar to the schools’ semester schedule. Interns are not required to serve the entire semester – we consult with interns to develop a work period that lasts anywhere from three weeks to three months.
Our official hours are 10am-4pm Mon-Fri, but we are usually open beyond that and there are many opportunities on the nights and weekends as well (check the FCDC Calendar). Those after-hours opportunities are managed by affiliated organizations such as campaigns and activist groups. In the mornings, we meet as a group to look at the news of the day and discuss its political significance to us in Virginia. Then, interns get to work on their projects. Some projects are short-term and others are ongoing, requiring daily maintenance.
What is the work environment like? We are a professional office but with a fairly relaxed atmosphere. There is no dress code but we ask interns to dress respectfully. If we are to be in the presence of a Congressperson, we dress in a more businesslike manner. Interns are expected to work independently with minimal supervision, but to keep track of the status of their work so it can be followed up. Our office consists of a conference room, several small offices and work stations with computers, and a kitchen stocked with snacks and beverages for the interns.
If interns choose to take advantage of one of the many opportunities to work in the field, we will prepare them for the experience with a briefing and any training required.