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good work experience?


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so many people here seem to have excellent WE (and many years of it), and i'm afraid i lack WE. I'm looking to apply for MPP or MPA programs, in Fall 2011.. so according to my tentative plan, I have a year to beef up my WE! I am currently in graduate school, but will have free time to take on a part-time internship, at least for fall semester. I might be able to take on a full-time internship or job beginning in January 2011.

I am looking to intern with an NGO, but I'm running out of ideas for what else i could apply to. Can anyone suggest some internships that would help me in this regard?

My only previous (relevant) WE includes 2 separate government internships that total approximately 1 year. Yeah, so basically, I am like an applicant applying straight out of UG with a tiny bit of gov't experience. If I find something for this year, I will have about 2 years of WE before 2011 applications are due. Is this completely unrealistic?

in case this gives you a fuller picture, I graduated from a top30 college with approx 3.75 GPA. I dont know if this matters, but the GPA for my last 60 credit hours is higher (i think 3.83?), and my major GPA was around a 3.8 as well. I havent taken the GRE yet (i'll be studying for that this year).

Thank you for your help! It is much appreciated!

Edited by pwnt
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It seems like you're already on the right track. In addition to gov't or non-profit internships you may consider working as a research assistant for a professor. Depending on where you live, there may also be opportunities to intern with lobbying firms, law firms, consultant firms, etc. If you are in DC, there are all sorts of national associations and member organizations (most of which are non-profits) that can give you research and policy experience.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck.

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hey adaptions, thank you for your response!

i was wondering if (real world) WE would be a better use of my time than a RA? and what subjects/departments would you recommend I look to? I guess Economics.. Politics as well? i think it *might* be a tad bit difficult for me to score an RAship in those 2 (and other) departments, as I didnt major in either but I will definitely look into it!

And could you elaborate on what you mean by "consulting firm"? (accounting or something comes to mind.. sorry i'm a n00b!)

thank you~

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pwnt - I'm not sure that there is a definite preference between "real world" experience vs being an RA. Often times "real world" internships are fairly administrative, whereas an RA may be more substantive. Of course, the opposite is also possible. Also, a big advantage of being an RA is that they pay you (even if it isn't much), and it is a great opportunity to build a close relationship with faculty, who will likely write a LOR for you. Quite honestly, I think you may be over-thinking this question. I doubt if an MPP or MPA program is going to care much what type of RA you were.

As to your question regarding "consulting firms," they can be almost anything. It's a fairly generic term, especially in DC, of firms that advise other businesses, governments, and even non profits. I mention them because there are a lot of them, and they may provide another venue to look for internships that would have a research/analysis focus.

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