For Students and Alumni
In addition to the resources available in the Graduate Career Services library, the following handouts, forms, and links can assist you in accessing career information and assistance at any time. We encourage you to download these documents as needed.
The MPP program includes a required ten-week public policy internship completed between the first and second years of the program. The internship allows students to apply their knowledge to significant problems in the public, private, or non-profit sectors and provides students the opportunity to develop and enhance skills in areas of professional interest. The internship helps students clarify their career direction, gives perspective on the selection of second-year electives, and assists students in gaining experience and establishing networks of great value in securing employment after graduation.
The Ford School has developed a substantial network of agencies and organizations that have hosted interns and employed graduates. Graduate Career Services staff work individually with students to assist them in identifying and securing internships appropriate to their career needs and goals.
Upon completion of the summer internship, each student submits a written report evaluating and reflecting upon their summer work experience. These reports are then made available for first year students to review. Previous years reports are available in the Graduate Career Services library.
Student Internship Report Excerpts
“My internship with IA at the Treasury Department was an excellent experience and one that I would highly recommend to future Ford School students. One of the most important things I learned was a greater understanding of international financial markets, particularly bond markets. I also learned a fair amount about the inner workings of the IMF and World Bank and the processes that go into awarding loans and programs to countries, including the role played by the USG. And I came away with a clear picture of the growing economies of Africa (West Africa in particular) and the many development challenges that remain. Lastly, I feel as though I was exposed to important lessons about working within a USG agency and how to effectively manage inter-agency relationships to achieve a policy goal.”
—Brian McCauley, Office of International Affairs, U.S.
Department of the Treasury
“Overall, my summer internship with the PIDC was a very rich learning experience. I learned what economic development means in practice: what are the goals (job creation, growth in the tax base, improved quality of life, etc.), who does it (politicians, public servants, non-profits, private developers, business leaders), and the strategies and tools involved (low-interest financing, marketing, relationship building, etc.) I learned first-hand about the rewards of this kind of work: that it is tangible (buildings go up), that it is challenging (each city’s unique features demand a unique strategy), that it is meaningful (jobs for people, an alternative to the suburbs), that it pays and there are abundant opportunities.”
—Brendan Moriarty, Philadelphia Industrial Development
“In ten weeks last summer, I met and worked with Jesse Jackson, Governor Granholm, the president of Whirlpool Corporation, the City Manager of Benton Harbor, the Mayor of Benton Harbor, the Mayor of St. Joseph, the director of Habitat for Humanity, and the president of the Council for World-Class Communities. I helped the Southwest Michigan Regional Airport expansion program to relocate 125 houses that were bulldozed to make space for a new runway. I wrote a $250,000 grant for the USDA. I helped the city secure the Jimmy Carter Work Project, which will build 60 homes in 2005. During my last week, I ghost-wrote a letter from Muhammed Ali to Jimmy Carter. You couldn’t ask for a better learning experience.”
—Mark Wallace, Cornerstone Alliance
Benton Harbor, MI
"In recent years, the GAO has dedicated a lot of resources toward their internship program, including fully integrating interns into analyst teams. Interns have the same responsibilities a newly hired analyst would have, so I was able to accurately assess how well I would fit into the organization. I worked with two different “job teams,” both of which were focusing on worker protection projects. One project was an evaluation of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s compliance assistance programs and the other an evaluation of the Miner Safety and Health Administrations’ oversight of underground coal mining. My research and writing was incorporated into a final report submitted to Congress. The GAO offered me a full-time position upon completion of the MPP, and I was happy to accept."
—Leslie Ross, U.S. Government Accountability
Ford School MPP students secure internships at all levels of government, the private sector, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, and international organizations. In recent years, approximately 25% of students secured internships abroad. Click here for additional details on Summer internships by location and sector.
The practical experience and professional networks gained from the summer internship make the decision to accept a particular internship a very significant one for Ford School students. At times, a student’s best choice of an internship for furthering his/her career goals is an unpaid or extremely low-paid internship. The Ford School has limited funds available to help students defray some of the basic costs of pursuing unpaid and very low paid internships. These funds are made available by generous contributions of Ford School alumni and donors who understand the importance of accepting an internship that advances one’s career goals. These alums and donors pledge their giving to the Ford School for the expressed purpose of reducing financial barriers to accepting unpaid positions. Students may request up to $3000 from the Ford School unpaid internship fund to assist in defraying some of the costs incurred in accepting an unpaid internship.
In addition to Ford School funding, Graduate Career Services offers programs early in the Winter semester to assist students in both identifying additional sources of unpaid internship funding and writing award-winning proposals for such funding. To find out more about these additional resources, please contact the Graduate Career Services Office at (734) 615-9557.