How will I find my internship?Students are not limited to any specific organizations in their internship searches.
The Michigan in Washington program maintains a large database of internship providers, though many students finds internships through their own research or personal connections. Students are advised on internship search strategies during the Prep Course, and are encouraged to consider a variety of options (approximately 10-20). As part of this process, students learn to conduct phone interviews, and to manage the process of multiple offers and appropriate acceptance and notification. U of M students in this program have an excellent reputation with Washington organizations and are in great demand. The U of M alumni club in Washington is active in assisting students secure internships and professional connections.
How long will it take to find an internship?It can take from two to six months to find an internship.
It depends on whether you apply for early admission, which provides students with considerable lead time to research internship organizations and contact MIW alums who have worked in those organizations about their experience. Early admission also provides students an opportunity to manage housing arrangements (i.e., find sublets or month-to-month leases). Internships at the CIA, FBI, and DOJ require 6 months for security clearance (and therefore early admission to the program).
Winter term students who are admitted to the program in October have only two months to find an internship. Fall term students who are admitted in March have approximately five months (because of the summer) to find their internships. However, many organizations in Washington do not consider fall internship applicants until late in August because they are busy managing the large volume of students who come in the summer for internship experiences.
Every student admitted to the program asks this question. And every student is always placed in an internship. Once a student is admitted to MIW, they are placed on a listserv with other students in the program where they receive regular notices from the Program Manager in Washington about available internships. Students receive in-depth coaching in the Prep Class on search strategies, along with counseling from specialists at the Student Career Services office. The DC Alumni Club and members of the MIW Board are active in supporting students in their internship searches.
Occasionally, a student will arrive in DC without an internship offer. The Program Manager will work closely with the student on placement. Students don't always get internships at their first choice, but most report satisfaction with the experience. Occasionally, those who do internships at their first choice organizations decide that it's the wrong field.
Some of the internships are paid; these tend to be internships in the science and technology fields. Others offer Metro passes or meals. Students are encourage to take the best internships for their research or field of study, rather than an internship that pays simply to defer costs of the program. Scholarships are available based on need, and all students receive a stipend to cover additional costs of living in Washington.
Which organizations require 6 months for security clearance?The FBI, CIA, DOS and DOJ require 6 months for security clearance.
Students interested in the MIW Program who would like to do internships in these organizations are advised to apply for early admission.
Students interested in summer internships should look at the Public Service Internship Program (PSIP) offered by the Student Career Center. Many Michigan in Washington students have done PSIP internships either before their semester in Washington, or as a way of returning to DC after they complete the MIW program.