Are you passionate about public policy? Are you interested in being a Hindu American advocate? Want to build an active Hindu American voice in government?
If so, look no further than the Hindu American Congressional Internship! The Hindu American Congressional Internship is a unique opportunity for selected undergraduate students to spend an exciting summer in our nation’s capitol working for Congressional offices. Sponsored by the Hindu American Foundation, this internship program aims to provide students with real-world public policy experience through two lenses. First, working as interns in a Congressional office or committee alongside staffers, students will gain the perspective of a Congressional “insider.” Second, by participating in events such as HAF’s DC Advocacy Days and interacting with the HAF team, interns will gain first hand experience as Hindu American advocates.
Selected students will spend approximately eight weeks between June and early August 2014 interning in a Congressional office or committee. Internships in Congressional offices are highly coveted, and the process for a student to obtain an internship is competitive. HAF’s ability to offer intern positions in Congressional offices is due solely to the relationships the foundation has built with Congress over the past decade and its consistent presence on the Hill. Past HAF interns have worked for both House and Senate offices as well as for the House Foreign Relations Committee. Student accepted into this program will not only serve as interns for the Congressional offices, but also as representatives of HAF and the broader Hindu American community. Over the course of the internship, HAF will check in periodically with Congressional offices to assess and ensure their satisfaction with the interns’ performance.
HAF is a non-partisan organization that works with both sides of the aisle, and thus, is unable to honor office placement requests on a partisan basis. Though not always the case, interns are often placed in offices that represent their home state. Occasionally, summer internship opportunities arise at prestigious think tanks and relevant NGOs in D.C. Should HAF be made aware of such an opportunity, aligning with an intern’s background and interests as well as the dates of this program, HAF will consider placement of the intern in said program. As part of orientation in early June, all interns will participate in HAF’s 11th annual D.C. Advocacy Days. This will allow them to meet the national HAF team as well as immediately dive into the world of Hindu American advocacy. Interns will also have various events scheduled with HAF staff to increase their exposure to the important work of the foundation. At least once over the summer, HAF may host a briefing on Hindu human rights. Interns will be expected to help organize and attend the briefing (with permission from their Congressional offices). Additionally, HAF organizes Friday lunches for interns to meet with prominent Hindu Americans in public policy as well as interfaith partners who are active on the Hill. A number of social events will take place over the summer that provide for important networking opportunities. HAF strongly encourages interns to take advantage of them.
Stipend & Housing
The Congressional offices themselves do not pay their interns. One of the largest benefits of the Hindu American Congressional Internship is that HAF provides all interns with living and travel stipends. Additionally, housing arrangements are made by HAF through Washington Intern Student Housing (WISH).
Continued Commitment to Advocacy
HAF views this internship as an investment to the future of Hindu American advocacy. Upon completion of the program, interns are expected to write an essay encapsulating their experience on the Hill. Second, interns are required to attend an HAF fundraiser in their region and to speak about the internship in order to help raise funds to expand the program. Interns who have attended HAF fundraisers in the past have truly enjoyed the experience as well as the attention that comes with being a young, articulate speaker! Third, upon return to college in the Fall, interns should publicize the 2015 program to their respective campus Hindu/Indian/South Asian organizations. Select interns will also be invited to assist in the interviewing process for 2015 applicants.
Finally, HAF urges all of its interns to get involved beyond this program by volunteering with HAF. HAF’s hope is that this program builds the future leaders of Hindu American advocacy.
Minimum Requirements to Apply
- U.S. Citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident
- At least 18 years old
- Enrolled in good standing at an accredited university or college
- Minimum GPA: 3.2
- Outstanding networking skills
- Strong organizational skills with ability to multi-task
- Strong team player
- Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
- Solid knowledge base of Hinduism and its practice
- Strong interest in Hindu American advocacy
Click here to download the application and learn more about the application process and its timeline. Applications must be typed and emailed to email@example.com by Tuesday, January 7, 2014. Transcripts and Letters of Recommendations that are mailed to HAF’s office must arrive by Tuesday, January 7, 2014.
Important Note: Congressional offices tend to finalize their summer interns earlier in the year than many private sector firms. Due to the Congressional timeline, HAF requires selected candidates to accept or reject the offer by mid-February. Please note that that deadline is non-negotiable and will not be extended.