City Internship Program



The City Internship is a unique partnership between the local government and higher education. It achieves the city's mission of effective management and the universities' missions of engaged citizenship. The program leverages the best of both worlds to create a challenging and meaningful experience for students who are interested in government and democracy.  

Here is a summary of the program as stated by the city of Bloomington: City of Bloomington Internship Program


Core Elements

The City Internship includes three components:

1. Foundational learning experience
This includes course meetings, readings, and discussion of the research and theory relevant to city government, policy, democracy and leadership. Interns will keep reflective journals, be invited to participate in other city functions, and be assigned a mentor for the course of the program.

2. An individual project
Each intern will complete a major project in partnership with a city staff member. This project must be a substantial contribution to the city and the scope of the project will be defined in a written agreement.

3. A group project
Interns will work together across campuses and city departments to meet a challenge determined by city staff and the City Internship Advisory Board (CIAB).

The City Internship provides an intense and multi-faceted view of local government. The program aims to challenge, inspire and empower students to engage in the community. It will also provide the training, tools and models to create effective leaders now and in the future. The City Internship is an opportunity to build bridges across campuses, across the city and across the community. This is also an opportunity to address a growing need for young people interested in public-sector careers since a large number of retirements over the next decade forecast a large gap in well-trained, public employees.


Program Goals

City Interns will:

• Demonstrate an understanding of the operations of city government and the relationship between city government and local public and private institutions

• Address a project of importance to the municipality in a cost-effective way, producing a quality product

• Develop themselves as young leaders in our community and serve as role models for civic engagement among community youth

• Apply theoretical models of democracy and citizenship

• Gain experience in a public organization to inform their future career path


Internship Qualifications

Up to six interns will be selected as City Interns. Selected in the fall and serving in the spring, City Interns from both universities will work in a cohort. Interns will be required to work a minimum of 120 hours for the semester. Interns interested in receiving academic credit must secure approval from their advisor. This internship is unpaid.
In order to be successful as a City Intern, students should possess:

▪ Knowledge of current events and policy issues at the national, state and local levels

▪ Critical thinking skills,

▪ Experience in managing large projects independently and in teams,

▪ Excellent writing ability

▪ Minimum GPA of 3.2


Interns in the News

Link here to an article from February 2012 about city intern T.J. Luby.  

Here is a link to an article from The Argus describing the origin of the project.  This is a link to the second page of the article.