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The University of Texas at Austin

Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

LBJ Students Shape Real World Events Through Summer Internships

Lauren Wells
Lauren Wells (M.P.Aff 2009) is interning in Washington DC at the National Endowment for the Arts

This summer students at the LBJ School of Public Affairs are gaining valuable experience and insight into their individual career paths while contributing to the work of an organization as summer interns in the United States and abroad. As part of their rigorous education, masters candidates at the LBJ School are required to take a semester-long summer internship.

How important is the internship requirement to LBJ students? Very important. When LBJ student Susan Peters (M.P.Aff., 2009, specializing in natural resources and environment) was asked what her internship at the United Nations Environmental Program meant to her, she said, “I don’t want to wax sentimental about it, but I have found the professional direction I want to take my life.”

Our internships are meant to be substantial, and in order for them to meet the curriculum requirements the students must be full-time working members of the staff and be involved in the daily policy-related activities of the organization—answering phones, this is not.

Andy Hobb
Andy Hobb (M.P.Aff 2009) is interning at the US Mission to NATO in Brussels

Andy Hobbs (M.P.Aff., 2009), for instance, is doing his internship at the U.S. Mission to NATO. He is a staff person to NATO’s Executive Working Group, providing research, policy briefs, and other support to the U.S. delegation as they discuss issues like European defense planning, NATO-EU capabilities, helicopter shortages, and more.

LBJ students may intern with a local, state, or federal government agency, or a nongovernmental agency that is concerned with the public sector. Internships are also available in a variety of international settings, including U.S. embassies abroad, United Nations organizations, and agencies of foreign governments.

This summer eighty-seven LBJ students are interning for credit all over the world. Twenty-six of them (thirty percent) are interning in another country, working for U.S. Embassies in Uganda, Moscow, and NATO; The United Nations; and NGOs such as Indigenous People’s Rights Watch in Chile or Finca and Palestine Hydrology in Jordan.

Sixty-one students are interning in the United States this year, including thirty-three (thirty-eight percent) who are working in Texas and eleven (thirteen percent) who are working in Washington DC.

Zach Walker
Zachary Walker (M.P.Aff 2009) is using his service in the National Guard toward his internship credit this summer.
Lauren Wells is pursuing her Master of Global Policy Studies with a specialization in Security, Law, and Diplomacy and is interning at the National Endowment for the Arts in our nation’s capital.

What does that have to do with her studies? “Actually, a lot,” said the second year student, “The International Division works primarily in cultural exchanges.”

Other LBJ students in Washington D.C. this summer are interning at the Government Accounting Office, the Office of Management and Budget, the State Department, and the FBI.

Coming to the LBJ School is not just about getting a degree, or making some connections. The School is committed to graduating individuals with (in the words of Susan Peters) a professional direction and the real experience to command respect in the professional world and enticing offers in the job market. It’s all just one part of the world-class education we provide at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.