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Internships


Internships

PolicyLink is offering internship opportunities for continuing graduate students for Summer 2014.

Deadline to apply: March 10, 2014.

Background

PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity by Lifting Up What Works®. PolicyLink collaborates with a broad range of partners to implement strategies to ensure that everyone—including those from low-income communities of color—can contribute to and benefit from economic growth and prosperity.

PolicyLink operates a summer internship program for continuing graduate students (master’s or doctoral) in public policy, urban planning, and related fields. Internships are paid and the duration is generally 10 weeks. PolicyLink occasionally hosts interns during the academic year, depending on project needs and student interest.

We strive to provide each intern with two main opportunities: 1) a meaningful and challenging assignment (or set of assignments) that provides a chance to apply and hone the skills they are learning in graduate school to influence public policy; and 2) the opportunity to learn about the process of policy change and the way that PolicyLink accomplishes our mission of advancing economic, social, and racial equity through policy change.

Each intern plays an integral role in helping our organization further policy impact through research, communications, capacity building, and advocacy. We have had interns from nearly 20 different universities and colleges, in programs such as urban planning, public policy, public health, community development, information management, and journalism/communications.

Interns gain insight into the field by assuming responsibility for a project under the guidance of experienced professionals. Most internship positions are based in our Oakland office; however, if space is available and there is need, we also host interns in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and New York. Communications interns are based in our New York office.

Intern Projects

Each intern is responsible for developing one significant written product or several shorter products over the summer that contributes to a specific PolicyLink effort to advance equitable policy change. Products may include reports for public release (or components of reports), web-based tools, internal research or policy memos, case studies, literature reviews, opinion pieces, or blog posts. Interns are expected to carry out a research plan developed by their supervisor that will include gathering and analyzing qualitative and/or quantitative data. Interns typically conduct interviews, literature reviews, and web-based searches to gather information on equity challenges and promising programmatic and policy solutions. Sometimes they conduct quantitative data analyses or spatial analyses using GIS mapping software.

Interns work under the direct supervision of a senior staff member or the principal researcher or coordinator of a project.

Summer internship projects may be tailored to the specific interests of the intern provided that they match the needs of existing project areas.

At the end of the summer, each intern gives a presentation on his or her work to the PolicyLink staff.

Qualifications/Skills

Continuing graduate student in public policy, urban planning, public health, economics, sociology, or related fields. The following is a list of general qualifications; specific qualifications will be described for each internship job description.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative research, as well as the ability to organize and communicate research findings.
  • Commitment to economic and social equity issues.
  • Policy/advocacy experience.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Extensive computer skills.
  • Good team player.
  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced environment.

PolicyLink is committed to building and maintaining a diverse staff and a welcoming workplace.

Requirements

Summer internships are full-time, compensated, and generally last 10 weeks. Each intern will be expected to complete a final report and make a final presentation to staff.

Application Process:

Candidates may apply to up to two internships. Separate applications should be sent to each position but the candidate should indicate that they have applied to two positions in their cover letter.

Applicants should submit a résumé, cover letter, and a list of three professional references to internships@policylink.org.

Please include in subject line: "Your Name – Specific Internship Name."

We encourage you to submit the application components in a single document if possible (rather than three separate files) so we can print double-sided and save paper.

Interviews will take place during the month of March. Applicants will be contacted by telephone to schedule an interview that will take place in person or over the telephone. Candidates not selected for interviews will be notified by email in early April.

PolicyLink is committed to building and maintaining a diverse staff and a welcoming workplace. 

 

Summer 2014 Internship Opportunities

The following internships are available for continuing graduate students:

 


Advocacy Communications Intern: Photojournalist (New York, NY)

PolicyLink is seeking a graduate (or highly qualified undergraduate) student intern for its communications team. We recognize the importance of photography in supporting advocacy and policy campaigns, as part of an overall communications strategy. Under the supervision of the Deputy Director of Communications, the intern will create original photographic images to support the brand, image, and identity of PolicyLink.

Grounded in an understanding of the strategic use of photography, the intern will help identify the kinds of images that will best convey our issue areas, plan for a photo shoot, identify where to secure the images, and determine the kinds of photos, etc. The photographs taken will be used for a newly redeveloped website, internal and external publications, posters, slide shows, video stills, and other communications collateral.

In addition to supporting PolicyLink communications and advocacy, the internship project is intended to help the intern think about visual communications, advancing the intern’s academic course of study and career plans related to an interest in community organizing and advocacy work that advances economic and social equity. The project will also assist the intern in contributing to their portfolio.

Specific assignments and tasks:

The intern will work with the Deputy Director of Communications to plan the shoots and identify what images are needed to advance PolicyLink programmatic and communications goals. This will help the intern develop an understanding of communications strategies to move advocacy and policy change. Subsequent to identifying the required images, the intern will set up photo shoots to capture these images.

In addition to photographing events and other project-related assignments, the intern will also be responsible for a defined body of work around one or more PolicyLink issue area.

Specific skills and qualifications:

The ideal candidate should have a dual interest and experience with photography and with the needs of community planning, organizing, advocacy, etc. Demonstrated interest in working in community settings to capture stills for use in advancing ideas and policies is essential. This is a position for a documentary photographer with strong skills. To be considered a candidate for this internship, the intern must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program in communications, policy, and/or related interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis on advancing economic and social equity. While we prefer graduate students, we are also open to highly qualified undergraduate applicants.

The intern must have advanced skills in digital photography and the ability to visually interpret messages, knowing what types of images communicate the story best. The intern must also be a compassionate storyteller well-versed in the ethics of photojournalism and have a demonstrated commitment to the mission of PolicyLink.

The intern must demonstrate technical photographic skills with emphasis on photojournalism as well as experience operating a variety of photographic and lighting equipment (i.e., professional studio lighting, ambient lighting, on-camera flash including bounce, reflective, and direct). The intern must also possess skills in photo manipulation via Adobe Photoshop.

The intern will use their own camera and other equipment but we may be able to provide essential equipment as required. Video production skills (filming and editing) are preferred but not required. Position may require travel within New York and/or points nearby. Candidate must share link to portfolio as part of internship application.

Additional Skills:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative research, as well as the ability to organize and communicate research findings.
  • Commitment to economic and social equity issues.
  • Policy/advocacy experience.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Extensive computer skills.
  • Good team player.
  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced environment.


Advocacy Communications Intern: Storyteller (New York, NY)

PolicyLink is seeking a graduate (or highly qualified undergraduate) student intern for its communications team. We recognize the importance of storytelling—telling the stories of how individuals and organizations are creating sustainable communities of opportunity that allow everyone to participate and prosper across the country—in supporting advocacy and policy campaigns, as part of an overall communications strategy.

Under the supervision of a Senior Communications Associate, the intern’s project will encompass two key areas of responsibility: producing stories and collecting stories. The intern will help guide the development of the PolicyLink story bank that will house these stories for use by our staff across multiple platforms including for our newly redeveloped website, internal and external publications, social media, media outreach, and other communications channels.

In addition to supporting PolicyLink communications and advocacy, the internship project is intended to help the intern think about storytelling as a powerful form of communication, advancing the intern’s academic course of study and career plans related to an interest in community organizing and advocacy work that advances economic and social equity. The project will also assist the intern in contributing to their portfolio.

Specific assignments and tasks:

Grounded in storytelling that advances PolicyLink programmatic and communications goals, the intern will work with the Senior Communications Associate to produce stories, including the development of story ideas, identifying people to interview, conducting interviews, and pulling together multiple sources into one compelling, written narrative. To collect stories, the intern will work with PolicyLink staff to identify existing stories to categorize and house them in an online story bank for staff use. The intern will also help explore the best online and offline platforms for the stories, including our newly redeveloped website, internal and external publications, social media, media outreach, and other communications channels.

The production and collection of stories will help the intern develop an understanding of communications strategies to move advocacy and policy change.

Specific skills and qualifications:

The ideal candidate should have a dual interest and experience with storytelling and with the needs of community planning, organizing, advocacy, etc. Demonstrated interest in working in community settings to capture stories for use in advancing ideas and policies is essential. To be considered a candidate for this internship, the intern must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program in communications, policy, and/or related interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis on advancing economic and social equity. While we prefer graduate students, we are also open to highly qualified undergraduate applicants.

The intern must have demonstrated experience in storytelling, with a background in journalism, communications, or a related field. The intern must possess excellent written communication skills. The intern must also have a demonstrated commitment to the mission of PolicyLink. Candidate must share written examples of storytelling as part of intern application.

Additional Skills:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative research, as well as the ability to organize and communicate research findings.
  • Commitment to economic and social equity issues.
  • Policy/advocacy experience.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Extensive computer skills.
  • Good team player.
  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced environment.

 


Arts, Culture, and Creative Placemaking Intern (Oakland, CA)

PolicyLink is seeking a graduate student intern for its new Equity through the Arts and Creative Placemaking initiative. This new program will make the case that equitable arts and culture investments can transform community-building practice, foster communities of opportunity, and position people of color and people of low-income to be drivers of the creative economy. The ideal candidate will be a dynamic individual who possesses a deep appreciation of the value of community cultural institutions and those who contribute to them.

The intern will work in partnership with the creative placemaking team at PolicyLink. The intern will assist PolicyLink in activities related to building a community of practice and a policy agenda committed to advancing the use of arts and culture for community building, neighborhood sustainability, political engagement and economic empowerment that is intentionally equity focused.

Assignments may include:

  • Researching best practices, identifying field leaders, conducting literature reviews.
  • Developing an inventory and analysis of public policies that support equity outcomes in arts and culture and creative placemaking.
  • Researching models of creative placemaking in action.
  • Scheduling site visits and expert interviews, and documenting interviews.
  • Creating written documents, and developing and presenting them in a PowerPoint presentation to the team.

Desired Qualifications/Skills:

  • Graduate student in urban planning, public policy, art, anthropology, ethno musicology or related field.
  • Awareness and ability to see and imagine connections among arts, culture, and issue areas that are at the core of PolicyLink policy arenas (transportation, infrastructure, health and place, boys and men of color, economic opportunity, asset building).
  • Experience in best-practice analysis.
  • Creative display of research findings, including cultural images, economic and spatial data rooted in community.
  • An understanding of diversity of cultural arts practices is a plus.

 


Asset-Building Intern (Oakland, CA)

PolicyLink is seeking a highly motivated graduate student intern for the summer of 2014 to support our asset- building team. PolicyLink supports the communications efforts of the Ford Foundation’s Building Economic Security Over a Lifetime (BESOL) initiative. This includes developing and managing a website for the asset-building field (http://accesstofinancialsecurity.org); delivering communications assistance to grantees within the initiative to help promote their work; and connecting actors in the field to each other and to a broader network of equity advocates. Working through a cohort of state/local and national asset-building groups, this initiative is designed to assist low-income families, individuals, and people of color to build wealth that can help them weather difficult economic times while moving—and staying—out of poverty for generations. The policy and communications activities underway will deepen and strengthen the capacity of BESOL grantees to address both policy failures and expand opportunities for low-income families and families of color to build financial assets.

Assignments may include:

  • Tracking and analysis of national policies and programs that promote and support economic security, economic inclusion, and asset building (i.e., tax reform, farm bill, Social Security, community development, financial education, housing, and foreclosures).
  • Identifying and developing tools and technical assistance resources to support the expansion of multifield, multistakeholder initiatives to address economic security for all Americans and the closing of the racial wealth gap.
  • Assisting with program coordination and management. Planning and preparing briefing materials for presentations, strategic partners, and technical assistance providers.

Tasks may include literature reviews, web-based searches, interviews with national policy experts and program leaders, and other research. Written products may include internal research memos, case studies, resource guides, curricula, and drafts of external technical assistance tools. Interns may also assist in tracking and monitoring policies related to building communities of opportunity, and in creating policy agendas.

Desired Qualifications/Skills:

  • Graduate students in economics, urban planning, public policy, or related fields, with an interest in multifield environmental and policy approaches to improving economic security for low-income people and communities of color.
  • Interest in and experience with the field of economic security, wealth generation, or asset building.
  • Background in communications, social media, and messaging a plus.
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative research, as well as the ability to organize, analyze, and communicate research findings related to policy advocacy.
  • Strong computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Windows applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.

 


Equitable Economy Data and Indicators Intern (Oakland, CA)

PolicyLink is seeking a graduate student intern to provide research support for a project focused on furnishing equity advocates with useful data, indicators, and analyses to measure and track progress on equitable growth in regions and states. PolicyLink is engaged in a partnership with the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE), a research institute based at the University of Southern California, to produce relevant research about equity, demographic change, and the economy. In 2011, we released America’s Tomorrow: Equity is the Superior Growth Model, which described how a focus on equity is essential to future economic prosperity, particularly in the context of America’s demographic transition to a majority people of color nation by 2043. Since then, we’ve been tailoring this analysis to different regions and states. We are currently developing an online National Equity Atlas to make these demographic change and equity indicators available to the public, as well as developing regional equity profiles, and conducting other analyses of equitable growth.

The intern will help the team plan for the launch and future development of the National Equity Atlas website. Primary tasks are likely to include: conducting data analysis and background research for issue briefs that analyze how regions and states perform on various indicators of equitable growth (such as racial inclusion in high-opportunity industries and occupation); researching new indicators, data displays, and analyses for the website; and contributing research and analysis to tailor equitable growth analyses for specific regions.

Desired Qualifications/Skills:

  • Graduate student in urban planning, economics, business, public policy, or related field.
  • Commitment to social equity issues and experience working with low-income communities of color.
  • Experience with data analysis and quantitative research.
  • Passionate about making data relevant and actionable, able to write about data, and develop user-friendly data displays for non-experts.
  • Knowledge of SPSS and GIS is a plus.

 


Equitable Economy Policy Intern (Oakland, CA)

PolicyLink is seeking a graduate student intern to provide research support for a project focused on identifying the policies, business models, and strategies that advance equitable economic growth. Since 2011, PolicyLink has been advancing the idea that equity—the economic and social inclusion of low-income communities and communities of color—is essential to secure our future economic prosperity, particularly in the context of our demographic transition to a majority people of color nation by 2043. This frame that equity is the superior growth model serves as the foundation for our work to advance an equitable economy, which includes data and research, policy development, place-based initiatives, and strategic communications including the production of a bimonthly national newsletter, America’s Tomorrow, that lifts up promising practices, thought leaders, and new research on how equity is an economic imperative.

The intern will help the team research innovative public and private sector models, best practices, and state and local policy initiatives that advance an equitable economy, including strategies to raise the floor on low-wage work, strengthen the capabilities of the country’s diverse workforce, remove barriers to employment, create good jobs, and build wealth in low-income communities and communities of color. This research will inform our development of a policy framework, including state and local policy menus, that helps advocates understand what state and local policies advance equitable growth, learn about how these policies have been implemented in other places, and identify which policy options are good choices for their particular demographic and economic contexts. The intern will also build a catalog of potential story ideas for future issues of the America’s Tomorrow newsletter and help draft content for the summer issues of the newsletter. There will be opportunities to partner with interns and/or staff working on the Equitable Economy Data and Indicators project described above and on the asset-building team as a part of this research.

Specific Qualifications/Skills:

  • Graduate student in urban planning, economics, business, public policy, or related field.
  • Experience and academic coursework related to economic development and inclusion.
  • Familiarity with public policy and the legislative process is desirable.

 


Equity Summit 2015 Intern (Oakland, CA)

PolicyLink is seeking a graduate student intern to conduct background research and analysis to develop the program at Equity Summit 2015. The summit, planned for spring 2015, will be the fifth event of its kind, and will gather 2,000+ advocates and practitioners to celebrate accomplishments, learn about Innovative policies and practices, explore critical issues, and discuss how to advance the equity movement. We plan to create a unique and engaging program of plenaries, sessions, trainings, and local tours that showcase emerging equity leaders, cutting edge research, and innovative equity strategies being implemented around the country. The intern would conduct essential research and analysis to inform the Equity Summit 2015 planning team’s development of Summit themes/tracks and sessions.

Assignments may include:

  • Identifying cutting-edge equity research, policies, and practices across a variety of issue areas.
  • Assessing how the program may incorporate international examples of equitable policies and practices.
  • Interviewing PolicyLink staff and equity leaders to identify potential topics, models, and speakers.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Graduate students in urban planning, political science, economics, business, public policy, public health or related fields.
  • Experience and academic coursework related to economic development and inclusion.
  • Commitment to social equity issues and experience working with low-income communities of color.
  • Familiarity with public policy and the legislative process is desirable.
  • Background in communications, social media, and messaging is a plus.
  • Creativity and initiative.

 


Fund Development Intern (Oakland, CA)

PolicyLink is seeking a highly motivated graduate student intern to support its development department in a new fund-raising campaign. January 2014 marks the 15th anniversary of PolicyLink. In order to celebrate this milestone, we are planning a series of events that will lift up the organization’s accomplishments as well as expand and engage our pool of individual donors. PolicyLink is launching the Campaign for America’s Tomorrow to raise a reserve fund for the next 15 years of leadership in the movement for equity in America. The board and friends of PolicyLink have put up a dollar-for-dollar match to encourage new contributions. The development department is looking for a creative intern who can help us to leverage this exciting matching opportunity by researching, designing, and implementing potential fund-raising events and appeals (both online and off-line), and crafting key messaging.

Assignments may include:

  • Analyzing our organization’s existing donor base of approximately 100 individuals to identify the characteristics and profile of a likely PolicyLink donor (may involve surveys, interviews).
  • Using information/criteria to select a subset of individuals within the organization’s total database that are more likely to support PolicyLink financially (i.e., segmenting the list).
  • Identifying new audiences of potential financial contributors to PolicyLink (e.g., Silicon Valley tech).
  • Exploring possible events designed to bring in these new audiences (e.g., happy hours, book readings, public talks/lectures). This work may include visiting the venues, assessing potential costs and income, and assisting with the event planning, communications, and outreach.
  • Organizing/ fund-raising for a delegation of summer internship alumni to the 2015 PolicyLink Equity Summit.

Desired Qualifications & Skills:

  • Graduate student in nonprofit management, English/creative writing, communications, public administration, business or related fields, with interest in careers in the nonprofit.
  • Experience with fund-raising or marketing in nonprofit organizations.
  • Ability to conduct research and analysis using survey instruments, databases, and Excel.
  • Background in communications, social media, and messaging.
  • Creativity and initiative.
  • Exceptional undergraduates with experience and skills comparable to graduate students in these fields may also apply.

 


Health Equity Intern (Oakland, CA)

The PolicyLink Center for Health Equity and Place is seeking a graduate student intern to provide research support for projects focused on environmental and policy strategies that improve access to healthy food in low-income communities and communities of color. The intern will assist with two primary projects:

  • Developing content for the Healthy Food Access portal.
  • Supporting PolicyLink legislative advocacy efforts to promote access to healthy food in underserved communities, including the national Healthy Food Financing Initiative.

Assignments may include:

  • Assist in deepening an understanding about the community benefit component of the Affordable Care Act and identify opportunities for PolicyLink engagement.
  • Work with the PolicyLink health equity team to identify opportunities to embed health equity into county and statewide plans. Seek opportunities to build communities of practice within and across states. Assist in planning meetings and developing materials.
  • Participate in research projects, written reports, and other activities to promote awareness of the health equity movement.

Research tasks may include literature reviews, web-based searches, and interviews with program leaders. Written products will include online content and may include internal research memos, case studies, and drafts of external publications.

Desired Qualifications & Skills:

  • Graduate student in public health, urban planning, public policy, or related field, with an interest in environmental and policy approaches to improving community health. Experience with qualitative and quantitative research, as well as the ability to organize and communicate research findings.
  • Experience and interest in health / public health / health inequities.

 


Inclusive Governance Intern (Oakland, CA)

PolicyLink is seeking a graduate student intern to help develop a set of tools and document best practices in support of inclusive governmental practices. Government is a critical partner in advancing equity solutions. Community and equity leaders’ involvement in governmental decision-making increases the likelihood of identifying and implementing policy solutions that are effective and sustainable. PolicyLink works to develop and institutionalize inclusive governmental practices among the federal Sustainable Communities initiative grantees and stakeholders, governmental planning organizations, transit authorities, and municipal and state agencies.
PolicyLink is working to institutionalize equity practices and outcomes into all governmental decision-making processes.

The intern will identify and document successful models and best practices on local, regional, and statewide scales, of inclusive governance models—ones that demonstrate equity and community leaders’ participation in decision-making within governmental structures. Products to be developed include:

  • Two- to four-page case studies of successful inclusive governance models—up to six of these as time permits.
  • Three to four brief descriptions of processes in action that are working toward or have achieved inclusive governance models.
  • Three-page brief on inclusive governance.
  • Inventory of policies, resolutions, executive orders, and other policy documents that advance inclusive governance practices.
  • Support the development of training and technical assistance curriculum, tools, and materials.

Desired Qualifications & Skills:

  • Graduate student in urban planning, public policy, public administration or related field.
  • Experience and academic coursework related to planning and community development, participatory government, coalition building, organizing and civic participation.
  • Experience in the analysis demographic and statistical data.
  • Interest in making approaches to policy and structural change accessible and actionable for policymakers, advocates, and practitioners.

 


Application Process:

Candidates may apply to up to two internships. Separate applications should be sent to each position but the candidate should indicate that they have applied to two positions in their cover letter.

Applicants should submit a résumé, cover letter, and a list of three professional references to internships@policylink.org.

Please include in subject line: "Your Name Specific Internship Name."

We encourage you to submit the application components in a single document if possible (rather than three separate files) so we can print double-sided and save paper.

Interviews will take place during the month of March. Applicants will be contacted by telephone to schedule an interview that will take place in person or over the telephone. Candidates not selected for interviews will be notified by email in early April.

PolicyLink is committed to building and maintaining a diverse staff and a welcoming workplace.