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The Independent Institute
100 Swan Way
Oakland, CA 94621-1428

510-632-1366 Phone
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Student Internships at the Independent Institute

Internships are available year-round. Applications are now being accepted for each quarter in the coming year. Our internships are unpaid positions at our headquarters in Oakland, California.

At the Independent Institute we know that the world demands leaders for tomorrow who are well equipped to handle problems far beyond our current reach. Our growing global environment requires that our future leaders harness the power of information, innovation, and leadership in order to create a better world. To further these efforts, the Independent Institute's multi-dimensional internship program provides all participants with a hands-on approach to public policy, offering an inside look at how policy institutes operate in the rough-and-tumble world of public debate.

Under the direction of Independent Institute staff, interns will be introduced to the ideas of classical liberalism and principles of the free market. The Independent Institute recognizes that many applicants may have a strong preference to learn about how acquisitions, development, marketing and communications, publications, research, and student programs play a critical role organizations like the Independent Institute and work to shape public policy at both local and national levels. As such, we make every effort to match prospective interns based on interests and future career goals.

In addition, all interns will share specific responsibilities that may include, but are not necessarily limited to: research, reception, event setup, and other tasks. Prospective interns are encouraged to read below for further information on career-specific internships and are asked to designate any such interest in their application.

Acquisitions Internships

Interns in the Acquisitions department will assist in the discovery and editorial development of scholarly manuscripts to be published as either a policy report or a book. There will be an opportunity to learn how editors and publishers make the decisions about which projects to publish, and then how to develop those projects so that they will create an impact on current research and thinking. This will be an “inside” look into the workings of the world of publishing.

  • Assist in the evaluation of prospective authors

  • Research in building a list of publishable topics

  • Learn the skills of editorial development

  • Provide support for author relations

  • Promote a project to all in-house departments for maximum support
Donor Relations Internships

Donor Relations interns work on a variety of projects that take a closer look at donor relations, fundraising, and social networking to examine how the role of development is crucial to the work of any public-policy institute. Prospective interns should be outgoing, show strong persuasive writing and oral communication skills, and be able to work as part of a creative team while being committed to achieving results.

  • Assisting in the design and implementation of a comprehensive annual fundraising campaign

  • Conducting research on prospective major donors

  • Researching and recommending new donor relations strategies that include the use of the Internet and other multi-media tools

  • Assisting in the management of an annual events program that helps to shape public-policy debate around the country while raising money for Institute activities

  • Making follow-up calls to donors and event participants to insure maximized donor appreciation
Marketing and Communications Internships

Interns work on a variety of projects that take an in-depth look at how a public-policy institute strategically expresses its mission and message and helps to shape policy through the use of sales, promotion, and outreach to news and social media. Applicants must be outgoing, organized, and enthusiastic about working with members of the media.

  • Assisting in the promotion of books, policy reports, events, journals, websites, and newsletters

  • Researching, compiling, and updating lists of media and target audience lists

  • Fielding press requests and booking print and radio interviews

  • Web research

  • Proofing and mailing press materials and review copies

  • Helping with event coordination

  • Making followup calls
Publications and Information Technology Internships

Interns with the Publications and Information Technology department work on a variety of print and online projects, including books, policy reports, newsletters, advertisements, websites, and blogs. Prospective interns should have a strong grasp of detail, good editorial skills, and some familiarity with the Internet and/or electronic publishing software including Microsoft Word and Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, or Dreamweaver).

  • Editing and proofreading

  • Assisting in the production of books, policy reports, newsletters, advertisements, and other printed materials

  • Preparation and posting materials to the Institute’s website and blogs

  • Research into new technologies such as video and audio production for the Internet

  • Video and audio production for the Internet
Research Intern

Research interns support Institute fellows in researching and preparing articles and commentary on key public policy issues.

  • Online research and library readings as requested by scholar

  • Drafting of footnotes, bibliography, and other materials

  • Editing of text for article publication

  • Administrative support including filing for scholar and other staff at the Institute
Student Programs Internship

Each year, the Independent Institute hosts the Challenge of Liberty Summer seminars for high school and college students. The Student Programs Intern works with the program director, seminar faculty and staff to organize and promote an exceptional learning experience for those who attend.

  • Promotion and outreach to student groups and attendees in advance of the event

  • Seminar coordination, registrations, and site administration

  • Preparing and publishing syllabus on economics and liberty for each seminar

  • Leading group discussions

Summer Seminar

Those interning in June and July may also participate in our week-long, in-house Challenge of Liberty Summer Seminar on liberty, economics, and society.

Internships at the Independent Institute are volunteer positions.

Who is eligible?

Current undergraduate and graduate college students and recent graduates are eligible for the internship program, although exceptions may be made. Both domestic and international applications will be considered, however, overseas applicants must possess authorization to live and work in the United States.

How do I apply?

Please mail or e-mail as an attachment:

  • Letter explaining interest, dates of availability, and any specified interests in publishing, development, publicity, and marketing
  • Resume
  • Three references

Materials should be sent to:
Amy Lee Andres
100 Swan Way
Oakland, CA 94621
510-568-6040 (fax)
alandres (at) independent (dot) org

Materials may also be sent via fax to (510) 568-6040. No phone calls please. All applicants will be informed when their application materials are received, and those whom the Institute wishes to consider will be invited to interview either in person or over the telephone.

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