Legislative Internships FAQs
Do I have to be a political science major? Accordion Closed
No. Students from all majors and disciplines are encouraged to apply. Legislative staff trains and supervises interns at all times. Journalism or electronic media experience is preferred for broadcast internships with Arizona Capitol Television.
How many interns are hired? Accordion Closed
Approximately 50 interns are selected from Arizona universities to serve in the House, Senate, Governor’s Office, and Supreme Court.
Are there job opportunities connected with these internships? Accordion Closed
As is the case with any internship, the contacts you make, and the experience you gain will make you a stronger candidate for many future positions. Many former interns have succeeded in obtaining positions with state agencies, lobbying groups, law firms, and other organizations in the private sector. Several former interns are currently on permanent staff with the House of Representatives and the Senate and some have gone to various federal agencies in Washington, D.C. The coordinators of the intern program at the state capitol are former interns.
How does the screening process work? Accordion Closed
There are two rounds of interviews in addition to the paper application packet. The first interview is virtual through Zoom, and the second is at the state capitol in Phoenix.
How long is the selection process? Accordion Closed
The first interview is in early-October, the second interview is at the end of October or the beginning of November. Successful candidates are notified in November.
Are the interviews based solely on knowledge of the field? If not, what are they based on? Accordion Closed
The interviews are meant to gauge your interest in being a part of the legislative process, along with your ability to work with others in a team environment, take initiative, think critically, and apply high-level verbal and written communication skills. You do not need to have previous knowledge of the legislative process or be registered with either political party.
Students who are engaged in the community, who are registered to vote, and who are interested in current events in addition to having strong communication and critical thinking skills will most likely be a good fit for the internship.
Who can write the recommendation letters? Accordion Closed
Recommendation letters can be written by any academic or professional supervisor. This could include your professor, your advisor, or your supervisor for a volunteer or paid position.
Note: Recommendation letters must be signed and should be on letterhead. You can scan them into your computer in order to add them directly to your application packet. Your references can also send the letters directly to Melissa.Pokorny@nau.edu
How should recommendation letters be addressed? Accordion Closed
Recommendation letters can be addressed to the Legislative Internship Selection Committee.
How much of a time commitment is required to participate in the internship? Accordion Closed
The internship is a full-time job. Interns will generally work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays for the entire spring semester beginning in early January before classes start. Occasionally, interns will have to attend early morning or late night meetings as well. Interns should plan for transportation, childcare, living arrangements, etc. as appropriate.
The coordinators prefer that you do not have outside commitments for work or school, but if you will be taking any online classes or completing any additional hours for an employer, you must disclose this during the application process.
Is college credit earned by participating in this internship? If so, how and where does it get applied? Accordion Closed
Interns earn either 12 upper-division undergraduate credit hours (as XXX466) or 9 graduate credit hours (as XXX566) upon successful completion of the internship. All credits are pass/fail.
Can students taking classes online or at NAU campuses outside of Flagstaff apply? Accordion Closed
Yes. However, all of the internship hours are in-person, with the first interview being virtual through Zoom and the second interview taking place in Phoenix.
Can international students apply? Accordion Closed
Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States. International students should contact the Center for International Education to see if they can participate in these internships based on their F-1 or J-1 visa status.
How often is this internship offered? Accordion Closed
Students are recruited every fall for the spring semester.
What if I am graduating in December? Can I still participate in the internship in the spring? Accordion Closed
If you are scheduled to graduate in December, you would need to do one of two things: extend your graduation date to May instead, or apply to the Graduate College as a Non-Degree-Seeking student for the spring semester. You will find out in November whether or not you have been selected. From there, you will work with the Internship Coordinator on the next steps.
How will the tuition waiver be applied? Accordion Closed
The internships go through special billing and the student will not be charged tuition for that semester. It counts as a resource against the student’s financial aid package (if they have one).