https://www.votesmart.org

Vote Smart

Political Researcher

January - April 2021 • Des Moines, IA

What I liked

I learned so much about national politics! In this internship, I kept an eye on multiple members of Congress by analyzing their press releases and entering them into Vote Smart's database. I got to learn about relevant issues (such as the pandemic), and how Congress is attempting to handle them.

What I wish was different

This internship was remote, so it took awhile to get used to logging in from my current location.

Advice

Learn and practice time management to avoid burnout!
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Government Affairs Research Intern

June - September 2020 • Des Moines, IA

What I liked

I learned a lot about the legislative process throughout all 50 states, and learned how to read bills no matter how dense they are.

What I wish was different

The work can be monotonous, but knowing that people rely on the site especially during election season can motivate you to do more.

Advice

Be open to what kind of work you have to deal with, especially when researching legislation.
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Key Votes Intern

May - August 2019 • Des Moines, IA

What I liked

I really enjoyed the work environment. Staff were very supportive and helped through each step of the training, and gave very useful tips and corrections for my writing or data entry. It's a good place to work in the summer if you have any interest in politics or public policy. The skills gained are useful for future work in an office or research environment.

What I wish was different

Advice

If you need to earn money over the summer for whatever reason, they are flexible with hours to accommodate for a second job or internship, since this internship is unpaid. As long as you let them know ahead of time then there really isn't an issue!
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