Mānoa Political Internships

For dynamic, capable, and ambitious UH-Mānoa students, five outstanding political internships are available to complement academic and professional goals. These internships offer a rare opportunity to work at the top levels of government. Through meaningful hands-on work experiences, combined with an enriching academic program, students will gain an up-close view of state and federal government and will gain skills to advance careers in a variety of fields.

The Mānoa Political Internships serve two primary purposes:

  1. To provide governmental offices with additional qualified personnel who assist the agency in fulfilling its objectives by performing meaningful tasks.
  2. To provide qualified students with an applied learning environment with opportunities to validate previously learned academic concepts.

Special Summer ’21 Opportunity: POLS 405: Executive Internship Summer Session

Application Deadlines

All materials must be submitted by:
Fall Internships: March 15
Spring Internships: October 15

Contact
Samantha Larson
Administrative Assistant
mpin@hawaii.edu

Professor Larry Nitz
Program Director
lnitz@hawaii.edu

U.S. Congressional Internship Program

Located in Washington, D.C., our nation’s capital, the U.S. Congressional Internship Program provides dynamic, capable, and ambitious UH-Mānoa students with a rare opportunity to work in one of four congressional offices in a city rich in historical and cultural significance. Interns will be invloved in a wide variety of intense, directed experience in public service. Interns will work an average of 40 hours per week while earning 12 academic credits to maintain full time status.


What the Internship Offers

  • Funding to cover cost of attendance for the semester of the internship (based on resident tuition). A scholarship will be added to the student’s overall financial aid package.
  • Airfare to and from Washington, D.C.
  • Placement in and payment for a suitable dormitory for the semester
  • Food and winter clothing allowance
  • Stipend for incidentals e.g. ground transportation,concerts, etc.

Applicant Qualifications

To be eligible, students must be at the following levels by the starting date of the internship program.

  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Standing: Junior or Senior
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Residency: US Resident only
  • Enrollment Status: Full-Time
  • Excellent writing, communication, and people skills
  • Prodigious work ethic and impeccable reliability
  • Office computer experience (i.e. Word, PowerPoint, and Excel)
  • Basic research capabilities
  • Well organized with an eye for detail
  • Professional demeanor
  • Desire to learn
  • Interest in public service

Hawai’i Governor’s Office Internship Program

The Hawai’i Governor’s Office Internship Program provides dynamic, capable, and ambitious UH-Mānoa students the rare opportunity to work at the top level of state government under the direction of top staff members. Interns will be assigned in the areas of communications, operations, or policy and will take on an array of tasks, including: policy and legislative research, note taking at meetings and hearings, constituent relations, and event coordination. Interns will work an average of 40 hours per week while earning 12 academic credits to maintain full time status.

Hawai’i Lieutenant Governor’s Office Internship Program

The Hawai’i Lieutenant Governor’s Office Internship Program provides dynamic, capable, and ambitious UH-Mānoa students the rare opportunity to work at the top level of state government. Interns will be involved in all aspects of the Office, including: policy and legislative research, constituent correspondence, consular and name change processing, note taking at meetings, and event organizing – and will have the chance to work with the Lieutenant Governor and his staff. Interns will work an average of 40 hours per week while earning 12 academic credits to maintain full time status.

Hawai’i State Legislature (Spring Semester only) Internship Program

The Hawai’i State Legislature Internship Program provides dynamic, capable, and ambitious UH-Mānoa students with a rare opportunity to work with legislators in both the House of Representative and the Senate. Interns will be involved in an experiential learning process which provides insight into elective politics, and the opportunity to observe first-hand the dynamics of legislative decision-making. Interns will work an average of 40 hours per week while earning 12 academic credits to maintain full time status.

Hawai’i Judicial Internship Program

The Hawai’i Judicial Internship Program provides dynamic, capable, and ambitious UH-Mānoa students the rare opportunity to work within the judicial system for a semester. Intern efforts will span both the Prosecuting Attorney and Public Defender’s Offices, offering a broad first-hand learning experience in criminal law, from arrest through conviction and parole. Interns will work an average of 40 hours per week while earning 12 academic credits to maintain full time status.


What the Internships Offer

  • Funding to cover cost of attendance for the semester of the internship (based on resident tuition). A scholarship will be added to the student’s overall financial aid package.
  • An engaging learning opportunity that bridges classroom academics and the professional world.
  • Professional development including the building of communication and teamwork skills, and the establishment of local networks and contacts.

Applicant Qualifications

To be eligible, students must be at the following levels by the starting date of the internship program.

  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Standing: Junior or Senior
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Enrollment Status: Full-Time
  • Excellent writing, communication, and people skills
  • Prodigious work ethic and impeccable reliability
  • Office computer experience (i.e. Word, PowerPoint, and Excel)
  • Basic research capabilities
  • Well organized with an eye for detail
  • Professional demeanor
  • Desire to learn
  • Interest in public service

The application process for each internship involves submitting both 1. General Application Materials and 2. an Internship Specific Essay. All materials are submitted online through the UH STAR Student Scholarship system. We strongly recommend compiling all finalized application materials prior to beginning the application process.

To apply, login to the UH STAR Student Scholarships, and locate the desired internship by keyword searching.

  • U.S. Congressional Internship Program – KeywordCongress
  • Hawai’i Governor’s Office Internship Program – KeywordGovernor
  • Hawai’i Lieutenant Governor’s Office Internship Program – KeywordGovernor
  • Hawai’i Judicial Internship Program – KeywordProsecutor

1. General Application Materials

All internships require that the following materials be submitted through the UH STAR Student Scholarship system.

  1. PDF version of applicant’s STAR transcripts
  2. Resume
    • Current contact details (email, phone, address)
    • Academic background including extracurricular activities
    • Employment background (references not required)
  3. Two Letters of Recommendation

One letter from an academic instructor (past or present) attesting:

  • Qualifications
  • Character
  • Commitment to public service

One letter from an employer (past or present) attesting to your:

  • Work ethic
  • Maturity and judgment
  • Ability to work with others
  • Office skills

Please note: During the application process, applicants will specify the name and email of their “recommenders”. Upon application submission, a request email will be sent to the “recommenders” from starhelp@hawaii.edu. The request email will include a link allowing “recommenders” to submit their letters online. Therefor, applicants should not collect, nor should they expect to upload the required letters themselves. As a courtesy, be sure to contact your “recommenders” ahead of time to request permission, and to inform them of the application deadlines.

2. Internship Specific Essay

The following internship specific essays must be written with mindful consideration to both topic and word count. Like the materials above, essays are submitted through the UH STAR Student Scholarship system.

  • U.S. Congressional Internship Program
  • Hawai’i Governor’s Office Internship Program
  • Hawai’i Lieutenant Governor’s Office Internship Program

Essay Topic:
There are at least two major roles that a legislator must play: (1) to represent the expressed wishes of a constituency and (2) to negotiate the resolution of a major issue which may be contrary to constituents’ interests. Please reflect on the conflicts that may emerge over these roles, citing specific examples if possible. (600 words) (max characters: 4000)

For the Hawai’i Judicial Internship Program

Essay Topic:
Why is the institution of a judicial process, from arrest to prosecution, important for society? (600 words) (max characters: 4000)