PoliSci Blog

Posted on October 12th, 2022 in Internships by eengels
Student posing with US Senator

Fall Internship Experiences

Student posing with US Senator

AFrika Williams Political Science Major, pictured with United States Senator Todd Young of Indiana

This fall semester I am completing an internship in the legislative branch of government working for Senator Todd Young’s Indianapolis office. This internship correlates with the class I am taking now which is pols-y 304 Constitution Law which explains our branches of government and how our government operates on the federal scale. Honestly, since I am not a political science major or have no true clue what that entails, I don’t yet see how it relates to my internship especially as only seeing one person in the office with a political science degree who only got the job because she knew somebody that knew somebody.

My best advice I can give to someone looking for an internship is to be grateful for the Liberal Arts department telling/helping you know who is looking for interns! Without the emails being sent I would have never applied to an internship also I would advise them not to be anxious or nervous about getting one or not if you don’t succeed at first try again, there are plenty internships that will work with you even with a low gpa.

Student with US Senator

Awais Hanif Political Science Major, pictured with United States Senator Todd Young of Indiana

I am completing my internship here at Senator Todd Young’s office in Indianapolis. Despite being only three weeks in, it has been immensely rewarding for me as I have gained opportunities to learn from important figures and absorb any advice and wisdom they offer. I have made several connections, in particular to my foreign policy classes (Middle East and African Politics) to the work that Senator Young does on the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate. For example, I have obtained further knowledge on how foreign policy is crafted specifically at the Senate level in areas such as the Middle East and Africa, in particular how U.S. interests are advanced. As well as the processes that are involved in the decision-making as Senators from both sides offer different solutions as well as come together to form bipartisan solutions.

I believe the work has enhanced my understanding of political science, as it has provided me more practical experience. Although I have learned much at IUPUI, it was important for me to take this internship to supplement my academic experience with professional experience. Giving me knowledge and insight into political science from a different perspective that is outside of the classroom. For any student looking for an internship, the advice I would give is that you should apply to everything and anything, but most importantly never be disheartened. You more likely than not will be rejected for at least one internship, but that is natural and never let it dishearten you. Keep applying to everything you find and set reminders for when new applications open, you may at times feel like your chance is minimal, but never let that keep you from applying as you never know what the decision may be!


Student at desk

Tyler Smith – Law in Liberal Arts Major

For my internship, I am working as a legal assistant with the Department of Child Services in Marion County.  The main work I am completing is assisting attorneys with the drafting of their motions, summons, appearances and other routine legal documents as it pertains to Child in Need of Services (CHINS) and TPR (Termination of Parental Rights) cases.  Also, fulfilling requests for certified medical records, certified criminal court records, and certified CHINS/TPR orders is something I handle.  I work with family case managers to obtain discovery for cases and then redact the discovery in accordance with the disposition of the case.  Organizing and preparing exhibits for use in hearings and trials is something I have started doing recently.  Furthermore, I update the attorney calendars, so they can keep track of their upcoming hearings.

At IUPUI’s paralegal program, there are a lot of practical assignments given in the classroom that link to my job duties.  For example, in litigation class, you will cover how to draft routine legal documents such as pleadings and various motions/orders.  This is a major part of the job responsibilities for most legal assistants and something I handle daily.  In my e-discovery class and litigation class, the process of requesting discovery and the timeline for due dates by the trial rules is also covered.  With my job, I handle a lot of requests for production so it was extremely helpful to be exposed to these in the classroom setting before handling them at the internship.  In professional responsibilities class, it will teach the proper etiquette needed in the law office setting such as duty of confidentiality and unauthorized practice of law.  Being able to juggle multiple cases and finding an organization system that works for you is something that will be developed on the job.

The work I have completed at this internship has given me the practical experience needed to become a paralegal down the line.  It is hard to fully replicate a law office setting in the classroom.  Being exposed to the various rules, ethics, and legal documents is a great place to start in a learning environment such as the classroom.  However, being able to handle various cases with different allegations and juggling different responsibilities for each case can only be done at an internship/job.  My advice for students looking for an internship would be to network with your classmates, because several of them will already be working in this field.  Many of them will likely be willing to put in a good word for you at their firm/agency if there is a position available.  Additionally, some job boards have a short quiz/test available that covers attention to detail and basic legal knowledge which is covered in the paralegal program.  If you can obtain a good score on this, then it might give you a leg up when applying to jobs posted on job boards.

Dakota Boyle – Political Science Major 

I am completing my internship with Senator Todd Young’s reelection.  A connection I can draw from classes I have taken is the ability to do public speaking.  I am not a big fan of public speaking, however after taking a speech class at Ivy Tech has assisted in my ability to communicate with the people who answer the doors.  Another class that also helped with speaking publicly would be your class with the mock trial last semester.  The main thing I drew from both other than getting experience speaking in front of people, would be to be prepared.

The work I am completing in my internship has enhanced my knowledge of political science in a few ways.  The first would be that once you are on the ground talking to people in person the extremeness of the political divide is not as bad as it is portrayed on the news and social media.  A second thing I have noticed is the diversity of voter issues that matter to people, and the fact that many people are one issue voters.  My advice for students looking for an internship would be to find something in your major and just do not be afraid to apply.  I dragged my feet a bit and once I finally applied myself to getting an internship it was quite easy.  For Political Science specifically there is a massive demand for interns with political campaigns right now.