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Become A Congressional Internship

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Working As A Congressional Internship

  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $80,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Congressional Internship Do

Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent. They design media releases to shape public perception of their organization and to increase awareness of its work and goals. 

Duties

Public relations specialists typically do the following:

  • Write press releases and prepare information for the media
  • Respond to information requests from the media
  • Help clients communicate effectively with the public
  • Help maintain their organization's corporate image and identity
  • Draft speeches and arrange interviews for an organization’s top executives
  • Evaluate advertising and promotion programs to determine whether they are compatible with their organization’s public relations efforts
  • Evaluate public opinion of clients through social media

Public relations specialists, also called communications specialists and media specialists, handle an organization’s communication with the public, including consumers, investors, reporters, and other media specialists. In government, public relations specialists may be called press secretaries. In this setting, workers keep the public informed about the activities of government officials and agencies.

Public relations specialists draft press releases and contact people in the media who might print or broadcast their material. Many radio or television special reports, newspaper stories, and magazine articles start at the desks of public relations specialists. For example, a press release might describe a public issue, such as health, energy, or the environment, and what an organization does concerning that issue.

Press releases are increasingly being sent through the Internet and social media, in addition to publication through traditional media outlets. Public relations specialists are often in charge of monitoring and responding to social media questions and concerns.

Public relations specialists are different from advertisers in that they get their stories covered by media instead of purchasing ad space in publications and on television.

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How To Become A Congressional Internship

Public relations specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree. Employers prefer candidates who have studied public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business.

Education

Public relations specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business. Through such programs, students produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates their ability to prospective employers.

Training

Entry-level workers typically begin by maintaining files of material about an organization’s activities, skimming and retaining relevant media articles, and assembling information for speeches and pamphlets. After gaining experience, public relations specialists begin to write news releases, speeches, articles for publication, or carry out public relations programs.

Other Experience

Internships at public relations firms or in the public relations departments of other businesses can be helpful in getting a job as a public relations specialist.

Some employers prefer candidates that have experience communicating with others through a school newspaper or a leadership position in school or in their community.

Important Qualities

Interpersonal skills. Public relations specialists deal with the public and the media regularly; therefore, they must be open and friendly to maintain a favorable image for their organization.

Organizational skills. Public relations specialists are often in charge of managing several events at the same time, requiring superior organizational skills.

Problem-solving skills. Public relations specialists sometimes must explain how a company or client is handling sensitive issues. They must use good judgment in what they report and how they report it.

Speaking skills. Public relations specialists regularly speak on behalf of their organization. When doing so, they must be able to clearly explain the organization’s position.

Writing skills. Public relations specialists must be able to write well-organized and clear press releases and speeches. They must be able to grasp the key messages they want to get across and write them in a short, succinct way to get the attention of busy readers or listeners.

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Congressional Internship Career Paths

Congressional Internship
Law Clerk Consultant Sales Manager
Sales And Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Law Clerk Consultant Marketing Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Law Clerk Consultant Product Manager
Brand Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Fellow Attorney Owner
Communications Director
6 Yearsyrs
Fellow Editor Marketing Manager
Director Of Marketing & Development
9 Yearsyrs
Fellow Team Leader Director
Chief Of Staff
7 Yearsyrs
Staff Assistant Executive Assistant Marketing Manager
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Staff Assistant Team Leader Assistant Director
Director Of Alumni Relations
5 Yearsyrs
Staff Assistant Team Leader Program Director
Community Relations Director
8 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Account Executive Marketing Specialist
Marketing And Operations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Marketing Coordinator Staff Writer
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Property Manager Communications Director
Director Of Public Affairs
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Owner Communications Director
Community Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Legislative Assistant Press Secretary Communications Manager
Community Relations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Marketing Coordinator Public Relations Specialist
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Analyst Portfolio Manager Strategist
Senior Strategist
8 Yearsyrs
Analyst Project Manager Engagement Manager
Engagement Director
10 Yearsyrs
Program Assistant Development Coordinator Development Officer
Manager Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
Paralegal Editor Social Media Manager
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Legislative Assistant Press Secretary Public Information Officer
Public Affairs Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Top Skills for A Congressional Internship

  1. Constituent Correspondence
  2. Legislative Staff
  3. Policy Issues
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Composed, edited, and finalized constituent correspondence, and supported management of constituent affairs.
  • Collaborated with other legislative staff to acquire supporting Congressmen's signatures for bill proposals.
  • Assisted senior legislative assistant on economic policy issues by conducting research and attending and reporting on briefings and hearings.
  • Compiled detailed information and drafted memos for staff members based on information gathered through research and from Congressional hearings.
  • Organized constituent services through government tour reservations, and provided personal Capitol tours.

Congressional Internship Demographics

Gender

Male

50.1%

Female

39.4%

Unknown

10.6%
Ethnicity

White

54.8%

Hispanic or Latino

16.5%

Black or African American

15.9%

Asian

8.6%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.3%

French

17.4%

Arabic

6.3%

Portuguese

4.0%

Italian

3.8%

German

3.8%

Chinese

3.7%

Mandarin

3.3%

Russian

3.3%

Greek

1.4%

Japanese

1.4%

Hindi

1.2%

Korean

1.2%

Hebrew

1.2%

Urdu

1.2%

Swahili

0.7%

Turkish

0.7%

Romanian

0.3%

Danish

0.3%

Armenian

0.3%
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Congressional Internship Education

Schools

George Washington University

16.9%

American University

13.4%

Georgetown University

8.6%

George Mason University

6.6%

Texas Tech University

5.6%

Howard University

5.4%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.6%

Texas A&M University

3.8%

University of Texas at Austin

3.8%

Catholic University of America

3.7%

University of Southern California

3.2%

Liberty University

3.2%

Pennsylvania State University

2.9%

Marquette University

2.9%

Florida State University

2.8%

Syracuse University

2.7%

University of Arizona

2.7%

University of Alabama

2.5%

Johns Hopkins University

2.5%

University of Colorado at Boulder

2.4%
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Majors

Political Science

39.2%

Law

10.5%

Business

6.3%

International Relations

5.7%

History

4.3%

Economics

3.9%

Communication

3.8%

Global Studies

3.3%

Public Administration

3.2%

Finance

2.8%

Public Relations

2.7%

Criminal Justice

2.3%

Public Policy Analysis

2.2%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

1.7%

English

1.5%

Management

1.5%

Marketing

1.4%

Psychology

1.3%

International Business

1.2%

Area Studies

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

58.9%

Masters

20.4%

Doctorate

9.7%

Other

8.4%

Certificate

1.6%

Associate

0.9%

Diploma

0.1%
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