Native American Internships

Internships have become a major component in the overall plan for the betterment of native economic standing throughout the country. Since the world is becoming flooded with more and more qualified college graduates every year, it's becoming increasingly difficult for well-educated, young Native Americans to get a leg up on the competition in the job market. By utilizing one of the many federal, state, trade school and tribal internship programs that exist for Native American graduates, natives can acquire the real-world job experience that will really set them apart from their peers. While these internship programs are often very competitive, they are nonetheless an essential part of the architecture of success that native leaders are trying to further within their communities. Many of the internships are also through some extremely prestigious institutions.

Tribal Colleges and University Project

This ten week internship is with one of the most respected scientific institutions in the world: NASA. It takes place during the summer, and it provides students with a number of interesting prospects. Mostly, it is a way for Native American students to gain actual experience in some very specialized fields of work. With the dwindling numbers of Native Americans that go on to work in these highly specialized fields, NASA is trying to give native students a chance to explore a universe of opportunities and education programs. The type of work that the internship requires is extremely variable, with a number of factors taken into account. Students are generally paired with a lab that best matches their interests and educational background. This way, they are ensuring that the students getting the internships are getting the most out of their experience.

The Smithsonian Native American Internship Program

This internship is yet another ten week internship with a federal body. The students that make the cut for this internship will be working directly with Smithsonian staff performing all manner of different tasks. This internship is an amazing opportunity for students to get hands-on experience with some of the most valuable, rare, and cherished historical items from American history. Not only is the experience itself exceptional, but the internship also pays a living stipend to cover the costs you incur during your time in Washington, DC. The stipend is $550/week, and is enough to accommodate a modest lifestyle around the city. This is a very competitive internship, but there are three chances every year to get it. Students applying need only be "formally or informally" related to Native American society, according to the Smithsonian's guidelines.

Native American Congressional Internships

These internships are the standard ten week internships, but they carry with them some extra responsibility. Students that get these internships will find themselves working directly on legislation that affects Native Americans around the country by acting as researchers on various bills or laws. Students taking part in this internship program are also given the opportunity to network with an immense array of politicians, lobbyists, aides, and various other notable individuals during their time in Washington. These internships are also equipped with some amazing benefits as well. Interns are provided with travel to and from Washington, housing, a per diem, and even an educational stipend once they have completed their term of service. The monetary and networking benefits of these internships make them very sought-after, so competition is fierce. Anyone looking to get into this internship should have a solid academic background, a long list of extra curricular activities, and be able to demonstrate affiliation with a federally recognized Native American tribe. Even then, with the sheer volume of students applying every year, it's important to get applications in early, and to follow up as much as possible on them.