Missouri Government Internship

Truman’s internship program at the Missouri Capitol is open to all majors, and prepares you for a wide variety of careers — not just politics.

The Missouri Government Internship Program offers a unique opportunity for junior and senior students at Truman to live in Jefferson City, Mo., while serving as an intern with a legislator, public official or state agency.

The program provides students an inside look at state government and the political process. The experience has special appeal for students anticipating careers in business, law, public relations, communication, government service, or public affairs, but is filled with opportunities for a variety of career fields.

  • Full-time internship/spring semester
  • Receive a $2,500 stipend
  • Earn up to 15 college credit hours
  • Requirements include a 2.75 or higher GPA, a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit and a minimum of two semesters at Truman

Internship tentatively runs January through May

You will have contacts that will stay with you the rest of your life.

Each intern is granted a $2,500 stipend to help defray the cost of living and working in Jefferson City for a semester. The University is able to provide this stipend thanks to the generosity of Truman alumni and friends who make gifts to the Truman State University Foundation.
Students wishing to participate in the program are required to have a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit, two semesters at Truman and a cumulative GPA of 2.75. No special coursework is required prior to the internship. Successful applicants will be of sound character and possess qualities that reflect positively upon themselves and the University.
Any interested student should apply in August or September. Applicants will be interviewed by a committee in October if they are selected to participate. Successful candidates are notified at the end of October.

STEP 1: Complete the online application.

Application Deadline for the Spring 2018 Internship: Noon on Sept. 28, 2017

For the online application, you will need to upload two documents:

  • a current resume listing education, work experience (include both on- and off-campus jobs), and university activities (1 page)
  • a 3-4 page writing sample (course work is encouraged); if your paper is more than 3-4 pages, please edit it to single spacing and add the title to the top of the paper

STEP 2: Stop by the Public Relations Office in McClain 202 to:

  • sign up for an interview time (interviews will take place on Oct. 3, 4 and 5, 2017)
  • drop off a copy of your unofficial Advising Transcript (available in TruView under the “Student” tab; see section for “Student Data,” select “View Transcripts,” print Advising Transcript that shows grades for all semesters)
The goal of intern assignment is to enhance the probability that each placement is a successful learning experience. Compatibility between the public official and intern is extremely important. Requests for interns specify the duties interns are to perform and the characteristics desired in an intern. Care is taken by the Missouri Government Internship Committee to consider student majors, political orientations, career goals, and student preferences when recommending intern placements.
Duties depend upon the needs of the public official to whom the intern is assigned. Typical duties include attending meetings and making reports, working with constituents, doing office and computer work, conducting research, writing speeches, editing printed materials, tracking and summarizing legislation, and being on call to help with special projects. Probably the most important expectations of the intern are loyalty to the public official and confidentiality. The intern is expected to act and conduct himself/herself in the best interest of the public official at all times. This means not only being helpful but anticipating what will be helpful. It also means keeping important information confidential.
The answer is no, but it is certainly helpful when interns share similar views on important issues. Party preference and issue positions will be considered as assignments are made. Any candidates for the Missouri Government Internship who will not be able to work exclusively and wholeheartedly for the public official and his/her goals should not accept the position.
The intern must be available full time for the legislative session and must enroll in POL 471, which can be taken for 3-12 credits and is graded pass/fail, as well as POL 472, which is 3 credits and is a traditionally graded course that meets each Monday morning. Remember, you may have to meet full-time enrollment status for financial aid and scholarships.
Scholarships and other financial aid approved for use while on campus can be continued during the time the student is an intern. Students should examine aid packages and scholarships to determine if they are limited to a specific number of semesters and what effect such limitations might have on finances available during the student’s final semesters. The Financial Aid Office will be able to answer these questions. Interns may also experience additional expenses, the most common of which is housing.
Students need to discuss how to apply internship credits to their major with their academic advisor. Of course, all students may use the internship credits as free electives. Political science majors may apply POL 472 (3 credits) to the electives in the major, required support, or free electives. POL 471 (3-12 credits) may be applied to required support or free electives.
The Missouri Government Internship Program is a full-time internship for the duration of the semester. Interns live in Jefferson City for the entire semester and are expected to be involved with their assigned public official throughout that entire time frame. Vacations for the intern will be the vacations observed by the public official. All students are expected to remain through the end of the legislative session.

Work schedules are at the discretion of the public official. Expect to work every day, Monday through Friday, and to be on call at other times. Students will also be expected to attend a hearing each week as part of course requirements.

A weekly class meeting for POL 472 will be scheduled each Monday morning for all Missouri Government interns. Interns will be notified in advance of the class times. Class may be scheduled in the Capitol or at some other location convenient to interns and the supervising faculty member.

Students are responsible for their own housing while in Jefferson City. Often, several interns go together to rent an apartment and thus cut down on individual expenses. Housing is available near the Capitol, but it is more expensive. Help with prospective housing is available.
Interns are generally not permitted to take additional coursework beyond their internship credits from Truman or any other institution during the semester of the internship. The Missouri Government Internship is considered to be a full load, regardless of the number of credit hours to be received. Likewise, part-time employment is not permitted lest it interfere with the needs of the public official. Any exceptions would need to be made in advance of the internship.

Have questions?
Contact Heidi Templeton, director of public relations at Truman State University, McClain Hall 202, heidi@truman.edu, (660) 785-4016, or Candy Young, professor of political science at Truman State University, McClain Hall 216, cyoung@truman.edu, (660) 785-4650.

Capitol building
Missouri state capitol in Jefferson City