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Internship Spotlight - Cooper Conway

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

In February of 2020, I had a plan in my head of how the rest of the year would go. In the summer, I would head to Taiwan as a fellow in the College of Business and Economics Asia Biztech program. After a successful and rewarding experience there, I would head to Washington DC, where I would intern during the day and take classes at night on the University of California system’s Washington DC campus. What a great plan, right? What could go wrong? Well, COVID-19 touched down in America soon after, and my plans shifted.

Read more about Cooper Conway's internship in DC
Internship Spotlight - John Hougaard

Internship experience in Slovenia

“When given the chance to discuss my experience working at the US Embassy with future potential employers, I would immediately remark that it was a great opportunity for me to further pursue my goal of becoming a political officer for the US State Department and learn the steps to becoming one. Through this internship I was able to have firsthand experience working in an embassy environment. Through my interactions with embassy personnel, it gave me an idea of what day to day tasks are like in the embassy.”

Read about John Hougaard's Internship experience

Step-by-step procedures for registering for an internship

  1. Identify and contact sponsoring agency about internship possibilities. If you need ideas about what kinds of organizations accept interns, feel free to check with your advisor, the Career Center, and the department internship coordinator. A helpful place to start is the Career Center’s website about internships.
  2. If the agency is interested, then apply for the internship by going to the Boise State Career Center website and filling out the “Internship Application for Academic Credit.” Visit the career center page where you’ll find the link to the application:
  3. You MUST then complete the Career Center’s Orientation Workshop. You can access the workshop from the Career Center profile you created when filling out the application (step 2 above). The workshop is a power point presentation that takes about an hour to view, followed by a short quiz. Your internship will not be approved until you complete the Orientation Workshop. Once you complete the application and workshop, your application will transmit electronically to the political science internship director for approval.
  4. You may receive 1 academic credit for each 45 hours of internship work completed. The most common arrangement is to work 10 hours a week for the semester (135 hours total), which would yield 3 academic credits. But, depending on the situation and approval of both the internship supervisor and the political science internship director, you may work as few as 45 hours (1 credit) for the semester or as many as 540 hours (12 credits). Once you complete and submit the application, it will transmit electronically to the political science internship director for approval.

Note: Although the university allows students to apply as many 12 total non-classroom credits (internships, independent studies, etc) toward graduation, the Political Science Department will only accept a total of THREE (3) such credits to apply to the major in the form of upper-division Political Science electives; in order to graduate you must complete six such credits, but only three can come in the form of internship credits. Any additional internship credits (i.e., between 4 and 12) will count toward your 40 required upper division elective hours. Students considering internships are strongly encouraged to discuss how credits will be applied to their degree plan with their advisor before applying.

  1. Next, if your internship application is approved by the department’s internship coordinator, the individual you listed as your internship supervisor will then receive an email asking for their approval. Once they respond as directed in that email, the registrar’s office will be automatically notified. Within one or two weeks they will create a course that will be added to your schedule. You will receive a notification email about this, but be sure to check and confirm the class has been added after that time frame.
  2. Please note that each step of this approval process can take time. You should be sure to communicate with both the department coordinator and your internship supervisor as this process develops in order to avoid unnecessary delays.

Assessment Procedures

  1. Internships in the Political Science Department are graded on a pass/fail basis. Whether you pass or fail is determined by (a) your supervisor’s assessment of your performance and (b) your successful and timely completion of the written requirements of the internship.
  2. An important part of the assessment process is the evaluation of your performance by the intern supervisor in the sponsoring agency/organization. Toward the end of the semester, we send the supervisor a confidential evaluation form to complete. This assessment of your performance is weighted heavily in determining whether you receive a pass or fail. It is very important that you are punctual, responsible, responsive and conscientious in carrying out your internship duties. You should occasionally seek feedback from the internship supervisor, asking if there are areas in which you need to improve.
  3. Over the course of your internship experience you will receive 3-4 essay prompts from the internship coordinator. You are required to reply to these questions within one week; responses must be between 500-750 words in length and can be submitted via email. Responses should be submitted via email to Dr. Castellano.
  4. At the end of the internship, you must also write a brief (1 full page per credit earned) assessment of the internship experience. Questions to consider when writing this assessment include: What did you do? What did you learn? How did this experience supplement your academic experience? Did you find the internship experience worthwhile? What can be done to improve it? Again, this final essay should be submitted via email to Dr. Castellano. If this essay is not submitted before final grades are due for the semester in which you are receiving your internship credits, you will receive an Incomplete. This will be changed to a pass or fail after you submit your final essay.

NOTE: The Political Science Department expressly prohibits our interns from engaging in direct lobbying during the internship period.

University Policy on Internships (Policy 3060)