Getting Started in Politics, Advocacy, Government at the Local & National Levels

Nicole
Nicole D. Park

Local and state government offers students a great opportunity to see how agencies and legislation work on a smaller scale. For students passionate about their state or a particular issue, state politics is a wonderful place to get started! Below, I highlight a few ways to get involved in politics at the local (including at Wellesley!) and state level. In terms of gaining experience at the national level in US politics and policy, DC is the place to go. This document will address finding a range of internships in DC as well tips for networking. We’ll start with the three branches of government, briefly address other government agencies, move to international organizations, and finish with think tanks and nonprofits. For students interested in international affairs and government, intern and/or study abroad to demonstrate your regional expertise and intercultural communication and adaptability skills.   

Introduction to Careers in the US Federal Government and the Federal Resume

Nicole
Nicole D. Park

“A good federal resume should clearly outline your key work, volunteer experiences, academic accomplishments as well as extra-curricular activities. It should also highlight the unique skills that set you apart and make you uniquely qualified for the position.”
— Department of Homeland Security Website

Graduate School in International Affairs, Political Science, Policy, etc

Nicole
Nicole D. Park

This resource covers:

Masters Degrees

  • Master in Public Policy (MPP), 
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA), 
  • Master of International Affairs/Relations/Foreign Policy/Foreign Service, 
  • Master of Security Studies/National Security
  • Master of Political Science

Joint Degrees

  • JD/MPP, JD/MPA 
  • MBA/MPP, MBA/MPA

PhD in Political Science/Government/Politics or PhD in Public Policy

Private Sector: Consulting (Political, Management, International, Defense) and Government Relations

Nicole
Nicole D. Park

This resource is an overview of:

  • Political consulting: firms who are hired by individuals, political groups, and campaigns to help run political campaigns
  • Management consulting & Strategic Advisory: in this document, this term refers to firms that focus on consulting as it relates to government and international affairs interests and aerospace and defense contracting 
  • Government relations: the sector of an organization that focuses on public policy and advocacy.

“The combination of hard work, a positive attitude, and a well-timed tip from a Wellesley alum have allowed me to soar past my career aspirations.”

Study Abroad: Government, International Affairs, Law, & Public Policy Careers

Nicole
Nicole D. Park

Students interested in careers in government, law, international affairs, and public policy are encouraged to focus on skill development and experience. This is especially important as employers, and graduate programs in this space continue to look for commitment to understanding these industries.  Below please find suggested study abroad experiences that help develop specific skills and experiences to help be competitive in these industries.

“I was motivated to fight for environmental justice in my community after hearing about the respiratory illnesses that many children were diagnosed with as a result of the environmental contamination we live with.”

“Throughout my four years at Wellesley, I have come to understand that a deeper understanding of China’s role in global issues is crucial to foster cooperation globally.”

Carnegie Junior Fellows Program (rising seniors & alumnae)

Kate Dailinger
Kate Dailinger

The James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program supports a year's work at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC. Eligible are graduating seniors and recent alumni who are eligible to work in the US for a year. Campus application deadline typically in November.

Sonia Hupalo DS

“My expectations of working at an environmental advocacy organization were quickly surpassed as I saw the importance of conservation from many different aspects of a nonprofit organization. With this, I discovered new interests, formed new friendships, and acquired a newfound confidence in my competencies to help the community.”

Leah Schwartz ’18

“My internship was full of many learning experiences — personal, professional, and worldly — but nothing came close to this opportunity to experience global politics in such a way. These were the types of events I often write policy papers on, tucked thousands of miles away in a Wellesley classroom.”

Jan 3, 2022

Autry Fellowship - expected direct application deadline

Eligible: current seniors and recent graduates (within two years of graduation) who are U.S. citizens.

Service, Postgraduate

The Autry Fellowship is a competitive fellowship program for talented and ambitious recent college graduates. It provides an opportunity to work for one year as a full-time, paid staff member at MDC, a nonprofit in Durham, N.C., dedicated to opportunity and equity in the South. The Autry Fellowship supports the mission of MDC—to help organizations and communities in the South close the gaps that separate people from opportunity—by developing a cadre of young leaders who have experience promoting economic development, increasing equity and excellence in education, building inclusive civic...

Jan 3, 2022

Humanity in Action Fellowships - expected direct application deadline

Eligible: Current undergraduate and graduate university and college students, as well as recent graduates (within the last two years), who are passionate about civic engagement, diversity and human rights are invited to apply.

Research/Gradschool, International Student, Travel, Postgraduate

The Humanity in Action Fellowship brings together international groups of Fellows to study minority rights and produce original research exploring how and why individuals and societies, past and present, have resisted intolerance and protected democratic values. Separate programs take place for five weeks every summer in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Berlin, Copenhagen, Detroit, Sarajevo, and Warsaw.  Due to the pandemic, program placements may vary from previous years. (Please note applications are due at 11:59 pm PST on the date of the deadline.)

Questions?  Any prospective applicants are...

Jan 21, 2022

The Hillary Rodham Clinton Award for Peace and Reconciliation - direct application deadline

Eligible: candidates must have applied to the University for study in one of the outlined programmes by the relevant January deadline; must be issued with an offer for chosen programme by mid-February; must hold a 3.7 CGPA or above; must be a US citizen and must identify as female.

Research/Gradschool, Postgraduate

Queen's University Belfast will provide a full tuition-fee waiver to an exceptional female student from the USA who wishes to pursue study in a field related to politics, conflict transformation or human rights. The five MA programmes covered by the award will include LLM Human Rights LawMA Conflict Transformation and Social Justice; ...

Analyst at New York State Assembly Office of Program and Counsel.

New York State Assembly Office of Program and Counsel - P&C