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International Studies Program

School of Politics, Public Affairs & International Studies

Internship/Job Application Guidelines

Almost all internship or job applications require three basic things: resume, statement of interest (or cover letter), writing sample. We offer some guidelines about each of these components to help you in the application process. You're welcome to contact our advisers in the program at, if you'd like advice about your application packet.

Statement of Interest

It's important to have a clear, concise statement of interest. The statement of interest should include the following information and usually should not be more than one page:

Who Are You? Give a summary of your academic background, work experience, and personal interests.

What Are You Interested In? What is your general area of interest academically and for a career path? What kinds of things are you interested in doing for an internship or a job?

Why Are Applying to a Particular Agency or Organization? You should know something about the history and mission of the organization, agency, or business to which you are applying and you should convey that knowledge in a concise way.

How Can You Help the Organization or Agency to Which You Are Applying? Give a brief summary of the skills and strengths you can bring to the internship.

Where Have You Been? Tell about your experiences and language skills and how they can relate to the internship or job.


A resume is a written snapshot of you and what you have to offer. There's lots of resources on campus to help you in writing a resume. You can start with the Career Services Center. All internship and job coordinators we've talked to agreed that the following qualifications were critical in considering a student's application:

  • Hard-working
  • Self-motivated
  • Can adapt to a variety of situations
  • Work experience while going to school, either paid or volunteer, i.e. part-time job, community service, on-campus activities

The last attribute was identified by a wide variety of coordinators as being important since it was a good indicator of a student's willingness and ability to take on a demanding internship or job.

Writing Sample

Most internship and job applications require a writing sample, something different than your statement of interest. Many prospective employers are looking for an applicant's ability to summarize issues into "talking points," that is to convey the most salient points of an issue or problem into clear, concise statements. Try to submit something that represents your ability to do this.

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