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Learning to Lead Internships
Independent Institute

Now Accepting Applications!

Independent’s Learning to Lead Internships are designed to provide participants with hands-on training and experience in a premiere think tank setting, while encouraging the professional development of future leaders, scholars, and pioneers of tomorrow. Our programs are multi-disciplinary and incorporate group work to foster collaboration with staff across the organization.

Readings and other elements of personal and professional development are incorporated into the program to encourage interns to develop skills and understanding of their work. Interns are encouraged to participate in events and social gatherings hosted by the Independent Institute. All interns are encouraged to write original research or editorial pieces with a chance to be featured in Independent Institute publications.

We make every effort to match prospective interns based on interests and future career goals.

Acquisitions Internships ^Top

Interns in the Acquisitions department assist in the review and assessment of scholarly manuscripts to be published as either policy reports or books. There will be an opportunity to learn how editors and publishers acquire and build a list of new publications and assess relationships between manuscripts and marketplaces. You will gain insight into the workings of the broader landscape of the scholarly book publishing industry. Applicants should have strong analytical skills with a background in journalism, writing, or editing.

  • Assist in the assessment and evaluation of prospective authors and manuscripts

  • Provide critical analysis and commentary for texts under consideration

  • Work with authors to develop manuscripts before publication

  • Learn and understand the role of scholarly publishing in a think tank setting

  • Assist in completion of book translation projects

  • Acquire professional editorial development skills

Development Internships ^Top

Fundraising is crucial to the work of any public-policy institute. Development interns support our efforts to strengthen relationships with existing supporters and use innovative tools such as email and social media marketing to reach new ones. Applicants should be outgoing, show strong persuasive written and oral communication skills, and be able to work as part of a creative team committed to achieving results.

  • Conduct research on prospective major donors and foundations and compile reports

  • Use existing research knowledge to assist in customizing donor inquiries and proposals

  • Explore and test fundraising approaches via social and new media

  • Research best practices and recommend improvements for donor relations and development team

  • Support daily development outreach efforts including donor meetings, mailings, calls

  • Participate in donor or promotional meetings and events

Marketing & Communications Internships ^Top

Marketing & Communications interns work on a variety of sales, promotion, publicity, and social media projects in support of our mission to have a transformational impact on the culture. Applicants must be outgoing, organized, and enthusiastic about working with members of the media. Preferred applicants will have journalism, communications, and/or social media experience.

  • Promote Independent Institute publications, events, and websites

  • Investigate best practices and communicate the latest trends for digital publication solutions

  • Research and sustain databases of target audience members and media sources

  • Collect and catalog media and author communications

  • Field news media requests and assist in scheduling print and radio interviews

  • Create and distribute press materials and book review copies

Multimedia Internships ^Top

Multimedia interns work on audiovisual content to promote lectures, authors, and books in support of our mission to have a transformational impact on the culture. Applicants must be outgoing, organized, and enthusiastic. Preferred applicants will have video production, motion graphics, design, photography, and/or social media experience.

  • Video editing for video lectures, short videos for social media: Facebook and Instagram

  • Photography and photo manipulation

  • Graphic design & motion graphics skills to produce basic short animations (2D)

Production Internships ^Top

Production interns have a unique opportunity to learn the ins and outs of an in-house print and digital production department. You will work on a variety of projects and publications, including books, newsletters, and design collateral. Prospective interns should have a strong attention to detail, excellent editorial skills, and some familiarity with publishing software such as Adobe Creative Cloud (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator).

  • Assist in the production of books (including eBooks), policy reports, newsletters, advertisements, and other printed materials

  • Create and design digital art to be used on Independent Institute materials

  • Provide editorial feedback while proofreading materials before publication

Research Internships ^Top

Research interns support Independent Institute Fellows in conducting research for commentaries, reports, monographs, and books on key public policy areas such as economics, infrastructure, international relations, and natural resources. Potential interns should be detail-oriented and possess strong research and communications skills. Ideal candidates will have experience conducting independent scholarly research and be familiar with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

  • Conduct in-depth online and print research in support of supervising Fellow

  • Draft footnotes, bibliographies, and other substantive materials

  • Provide editorial feedback on articles before online and print publication

  • Contribute your perspective to research conducted and published by the Institute

Social Media & Content Curation Internships ^Top

Social Media & Content Curation interns work on content marketing, promotion, analysis, and social media campaigns in support of our mission to have a transformational impact on the culture. Applicants must be outgoing, organized, and enthusiastic about working with members of the media. Preferred applicants will have journalism, communications, and/or social media experience.

  • Curate Independent Institute content on scholars, publications, events, and websites in order to create newly adapted content to be shared on social media

  • Investigate best practices and follow social media trends for digital publication solutions and social media

  • Analysis of the audience and effectiveness of campaigns using metrics and statistic tools

  • Collect and catalog media and author communications

  • Create and distribute social media content

Technology Internships ^Top

Interns in the Technology department support our staff in maintaining and enhancing the Institute’s technical infrastructure, websites, and digital applications and products. Applicants should have familiarity with the Mac OS environment, have strong problem solving skills, and the ability to work independently. A strong bonus to applicants with HTML, CSS, PHP, JAVASCRIPT, and/or ASP coding experience.

  • Install software updates, configure printing and email, and troubleshoot technical problems on office computers

  • Format and post routine website updates

  • Assist technology director in structural website improvements

  • Lay out, code, and send html-formatted eblasts

Learning to Lead Internships are unpaid and offered at the Oakland office of the Independent Institute.

Eligibility: 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 or obtain authorization to live and work in the United States.

To apply, please fill out the online application.

For questions or comments, please contact:

Internship Program Coordinator
Independent Institute
100 Swan Way
Oakland, California 94621-1428
510-568-6040 (fax)

No phone calls please. We will invite qualified candidates to interview either in person or by phone.