Missouri Government Internship

What is the Missouri Government Internship Program?

The Missouri Government Internship Program offers a unique opportunity for junior/senior students at Truman State University to intern with a legislator, public official or state agency in Jefferson City, Mo.

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.

Apply for Internship

Application Deadline: Noon on Sept. 28, 2017

Is it a paid internship?
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.

What qualifications are necessary?
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.

When can I apply?
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.

How do I apply?
Step 1:
Complete the online application. For the application, you will need to upload two documents:

  • A current resume listing education, work experience (include both on- and off-campus jobs plus supervisors’ names and phone numbers), and university activities (1 page)
  • A 3-4 page writing sample (course work is encouraged)

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

  • reserve an interview time (interviews will take place in October)
  • 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)

How are interns assigned?
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.

What is an intern expected to do?
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.

Does the intern need to have the same political affiliations as the public official?
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.

How much credit is available for the Missouri Government Internship?
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.

What about costs, financial aid and scholarship?
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.

Use of the internship credit:
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.

What are the time requirements?
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.

What about housing in Jefferson City?
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.

May I take additional coursework during the internship?
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.

Interview Dates:
October 3, 4, 5 (2017)

Internship Tentatively Runs: January through May


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.