Introduction to the Internship Program

photo collage of students at internshipsWhat is an internship?

Theory Into Practice

photo of Natasha Edwards“My internship experience at the GAO gave me an opportunity to utilize many of the skills I have acquired in graduate school—the ability to think critically and analytically and collaborate effectively with my colleagues.”

—Natasha Edwards,
MPA 2009

Under the guidance of experienced practitioners, SPPA interns apply the skills and theories learned in the classroom to real-world issues. An internship is a paid work experience that also has academic value in one's program of study. Preparation for an internship (Internship Seminar--UAPP860) includes practical advice on career research, résumé writing, networking, and interviewing.

What are some benefits of an internship?

Internship benefits include:

  • developing personally and professionally while gaining confidence and real-world experience
  • meeting and networking with practitioners in one’s area of interest
  • mentoring and performance feedback from the site supervisor
  • earning academic credit while getting paid

What is a successful internship?

Successful internships can be found in diverse settings and involve widely varying projects and assignments. All successful internships, however, share three traits.

  1. The host organization receives significant assistance as a result of the intern's contributions.
  2. The site supervisor provides feedback about the intern's performance and potential career path.
  3. The intern is challenged to develop professional skills, knowledge, and ability.

Check out a list of recent internship host organizations.

What if I have more questions?

Feel free to contact the School’s Internship Coordinator Lisa Moreland.