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Interning with the League of Women Voters: What are the benefits? What is the value? LWVUS Young People’s Taskforce.

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Presentation on theme: "Interning with the League of Women Voters: What are the benefits? What is the value? LWVUS Young People’s Taskforce."— Presentation transcript:

1 Interning with the League of Women Voters: What are the benefits? What is the value? LWVUS Young People’s Taskforce

2 Young people intern for many reasons. Looking to be part of reputable organizations Resume building Networking Internships = Jobs (even if they aren’t with the League) Looking to make a difference

3 What do interns bring to the League? Energy!! Fresh perspective Expansion of the League’s network Peer to peer engagement

4 What can the League do for potential interns? Help train the new generation of civic leaders Expand professional network Build resume Educational opportunity ▫Reinforcing college curriculum LWVUS summer 2013 interns had the opportunity to meet Rep. John Lewis at an event in Washington, DC.

5 An Intern is NOT: A one time volunteer Just administrative support An acceptable replacement for an employee Left without supervision or mentorship Just technology support

6 An Intern IS: A great addition to our democracy building team A potential future League volunteer, member, leader A source of new ideas, energy, enthusiasm

7 Legal issues to consider: Laws vary state by state ▫know the requirements before you bring on an intern Federal regulations primarily cover for-profit organizations ▫They are still good guidelines for Leagues

8 Department of Labor requirements for unpaid internships The following six federal criteria must be applied: The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment; The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern; The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;

9 Department of Labor requirements for unpaid internships: The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded; The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

10 Create a clear job description. Outline what you are looking for so you attract the right candidates ▫Clarity will help to manage expectations from the start. Be flexible ▫If there isn’t someone for the precise project, is there another project that an intern could help with?

11 How do we find interns? Advertising on college/high school campuses Newspapers, radio, listserves, in specific departments, etc. Advertise at your events (sign up sheets specifically for intern opportunities) Idealist.org

12 Advertising for interns BE SPECIFIC! – Give as many details as possible. Let prospective interns know precisely what the League is offering. BE HONEST! – Do not over state the goals of the internship. If it’s primarily an administrative internship, advertise it as such.

13 Beyond the political science department: Other fields that interns could work in ▫Environmental Sciences ▫Women’s Studies ▫History Consider the specific projects the League is working on and choose an intern whose interests match those projects.

14 The interview process: Short: min over the phone is enough Straightforward: If you cover most of your expectations in your ad, you don’t need to get bogged down in details Flexible: An interview does not guarantee an internship; you can say no.

15 Things to cover in an interview: Availability Interests Knowledge of the League Example questions: ▫What specific skills do you want to learn from this internship? ▫What three words best describe you? ▫Give me an example of a project you’ve worked on in a leadership role and you were really proud of the outcome.

16 Getting Started The supervisor and the intern must: Create a schedule with consistent hours, start and end dates Develop project goals Create a check-in system Outline expectations for BOTH the supervisor and the intern (consider an agreement/contract)

17 Level of Supervision Who is responsible for the intern? ▫Manage expectations ▫Emerging leader position Member availability ▫Ensure ahead of time that League members will be available Interning is a learning experience ▫Mentoring ▫LOTS OF FEEDBACK ▫Give them a voice!

18 Giving interns a voice As interns gain experience create opportunities growth: Allow them to speak to a group of student voters Organize their own project Write their own blog pieces/Voter Articles Give substantive opportunities and recognize their efforts.

19 On site internships Interns need to be mentored, they cannot just work on their own. On site internships tend to works best ▫Consistent supervision, interaction ▫Easier check-ins ▫More mentoring opportunities

20 Off site internships Require: ▫More organization  Agreed upon project goals, intern journals, etc. ▫Intentional monitoring  Planned calls, regular check-ins, etc. ▫Strict scheduling  Monthly, weekly or daily itineraries

21 Ensure a quality experience People are very good at networking among their peers: they will share information about their internship. + Positive internships = ▫Positive feedback spread through the intern’s network ▫New expertise ▫New links to the community ▫New members

22 Ensure a quality experience A bad experience for one intern can have ramifications well beyond that single internship. - Negative internships = ▫Negative feedback spread through the intern’s network ▫Loss of partnership opportunities ▫Damage to the League’s reputation

23 Course Requirements Most internships for course credit require: Paperwork- specific details of the internship Check-ins- proof that requirements are met Reviews- final review of the intern/experience

24 After an intern leaves: Get feedback on their experience ▫Ideas for making the experience better ▫Testimonials Maintaining consistency in work flow Transition from one intern to the next THANK THEM! –publically if possible Keep the intern in your circle! ▫Invite them to League events ▫Give them a gift membership for a year ▫Include them!

25 Questions?

26 For More Information: Contact the LWV Young People’s Taskforce  Co-chair: Amy Hjerstedt  Co-chair: Melissa Currence  LWVUS Internship Coordinator: Shauneen Grout


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