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Intern directly with working legislators!

The Legislative Internship & Policy Center matches student interns with Vermont legislators and legislative committees working to improve the lives of Vermonters. Each spring, this student-legislator partnership pairs ~40 students with Vermont's lawmakers to complete essential tasks and help keep the state running. 

Application deadline: October 7, 2022! Application form coming soon!

This is a challenging, professional internship for juniors and seniors seriously interested in policy-making and working with a legislator, legislators, or a committee during the 2023 Vermont Legislature Session. Skills required include excellent self direction, time management, organization, communication and response skills, research and analytical skills, note-taking, self-advocacy, self-motivation, writing skills, patience, and flexibility.

Students must be prepared to meet professional expectations, attend at times boring meetings, respond quickly, creativily problem solved, and go above and beyond requests. In return you will have an unforgettable professional learning experience, expand your professional network, and develop your professional skills in preparation for your later career in the political world.

 

The Student Experience:

Potential tasks and projects will include attending and summarizing long committee hearings, providing concise policy summaries and reports, tracking and summarizing bills, providing constituent services, social media support, event planning, and writing press releases and letters. 

This internship requires a minimum of 10 hours of work-time per week, not including class time and travel time. The Legislature meets Tuesday through Friday, 9 to 12 and 1 to 4 p.m. For this internship, it is best to plan your Spring course schedule so you can travel to the Statehouse in Montpelier on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday for the required once-a-week visit (twice a week if possible). Public transportation to the Vermont Statehouse takes approximately 1 hour in each direction. Legislators are representatives of various Vermont communities, so you may also be asked in the course of your duties to travel to their areas of the state and visit with local offices or constituents. 

Carpooling with others in the program is encouraged. There will be an expectation to split gas money if a carpooling arrangement takes place.

 

Program Schedule & Credit Information:

Because the Vermont Legislative Session does not line up with UVM's academic calendar, students in this program will be required to enroll in the Winter Session in addition to the Spring course. The first week of the Winter session (December 26 - 30) will be online and will consist of training modules designed to prepare you for the upcoming internship experience. Your internship will begin in-person during the second week of Winter session (January 2 - 6) to align with the start of the Legislative Session (January 3). You'll need to be back in Vermont and ready to go for the start of your internship!

The program awards a total of 5 internship credits: 

  • Winter session - 2 credits
  • Spring session - 3 credits

CAS's internship hours-to-credits rate is 40:1. So you will be working about 200 hours at your internship between January 2 and May 12 to earn the 5 credits. If you would like to continue at your internship into the summer, you may arrange that with your legislator and appply for funding through UVM's summer internship scholarship process. 

You will be matched with your legislator by the end of December with every effort made to match you prior to the beginning of winter break. 

 

Application Process: 

In order to apply for the Legislative Internship Program, you MUST attend one of the following information sessions prior to completing your application: 

  • Monday, September 12 at 4 p.m. in the Jost Foundation Room (Davis Center 4th Floor)
  • Thursday, September 22 at 4 p.m. in the Jost Foundation Room (Davis Center 4th Floor)
  • Monday, September 26 at 6 p.m. on Teams (join here)

Then, fill out the application form (COMING SOON!). You will be asked to answer short answer and multiple choice questions about your experience, skills, and upload a one-page writing sample.

If selected as a finalist, you will be contacted to schedule an interview with the course instructor between October 7 and October 17. 

 

Instructor:

Liz First-Raddock (she/her)

Liz First-Raddock has over 25 years of experience in media, journalism, and local government and advocacy. She has worked for various local radio stations, the Burlington Free Press, Vermont Public Radio, and more recently at First Get Organized, the Vermont Office of Legislative Council, VT Digger, and the Vermont Office of Legislative Operations. In her role as Legislative Internship Program Coordinator and now faculty mentor, Liz has worked with over 100 students to get them engaged and working directly with the Vermont Legislature. Get in touch with Liz via email.

 

Our mission

Here in Vermont, we are lucky to have one of the most accessible legislatures in the country. You don’t need to schedule an appointment or go through staffers in order to meet with legislators — because they don’t have staffers. Our goal is to offer legislators immediate assistance with anything that they would otherwise have their own staff do. Specifically, we conduct policy research and provides support for legislators and committees. Through this service, we hope to offer students, legislators and Vermonters a meaningful engagement with each other in the policy making process.

Advisory Committee*

Shap Smith

Shap is a former Vermont State Representative from Morristown and was the 92nd Speaker of the House. He is currently an attorney at Dinse.

Diane Snelling

Diane is a former Vermont State Senator from Hinesburg for seven terms. She is currently the chairwoman for the Vermont Natural Resources Board.

Steve Terry

Steve is an author, UVM alumnus, and a former legislative assistant to Sen. Aiken and longtime managing editor of the Rutland Herald. He is a founding member of the Vermont Journalism Trust Board.

Dr. Stephanie Seguino

Dr. Seguino is a professor of economics at the University of Vermont. Her areas of expertise include macroeconomics and development.

Dr. Jane Knodell

Dr. Knodell is a professor of economics at the University of Vermont. Her areas of expertise include macroeconomics, money & banking and U.S. economic history.

Steve Maier

Steve is a former Vermont State Representative from Middlebury who served for four terms and chaired the House Committee on Health Care. He previously headed the Addison County Solid Waste District and is now executive director of the Vermont Coalition of Clinics for the Uninsured.

Anthony Gierzynski

Anthony’s area of study is American politics with specific interests in mass media, elections, campaign finance, and political parties. Professor Gierzynski is the Director of the Vermont Legislative Research Service.

*Organizations are named for identification purposes only and do not in any way suggest endorsement of the center's activities.

 

QUICK HELP:

Contact the College of Arts & Sciences Experiential Learning Coordinator, Sophia Trigg

Credit information:

The Legislative Intern and Policy Center Community of Practice counts as elective internship credit under course number AS-189 (5 credits total).

Student Testimonials:

"This experience is a good transition into the "work world". I feel as though I am able to talk to adults in a professional manner without any anxiety or nervousness."

"The skills I learned that have been particularly useful in this experience are how to advocate for myself when concerns/worries arise, clearly communicate when in need of clarification, and set boundaries when scheduling around my other work. Other skills specific to the internship that I have learned are how to track bills, answer constituents via email, take concise notes during committee meetings, and relay information."

"This class has helped me solidify my belief that political science is definitely what I want to study as an undergraduate."

Angela Camacho-DeSousa ('21, Political Science) interned in Spring 2021 with Vermont State Senator Kesha Ram and is a student leader for the program. Hear about her experience: 

UVM Interns Learn Legislative Ropes, Partly by Zoom

"In late February, Henry Rood planted himself near the front of the conference room for the Vermont Climate Solutions Caucus and listened to state legislators chat about a regional initiative to curb greenhouse gas emissions."

Read the article in UVM Today > > 

143 students have interned with the Legislative Internship and Policy Center to date!