When does the program take place?
CHCI hosts interns three times a year:
- Spring: January 27 – April 17, 2020 (12 weeks)
- Summer: May 26 – July 31, 2020 (10 weeks)
- Fall: August 31 – November 20, 2020 (12 weeks)
Which semester should I apply to?
There are pros and cons to each of the semesters. Spring interns often get very substantive work in their placements due to the small number of interns on the Hill at that time, and some find it easier to take a semester off since many students study abroad in the spring; Summer is a time when D.C. is full of interns and there are many networking opportunities; in the Fall, interns have the opportunity to participate in CHCI’s Hispanic Heritage Month events.
No matter which semester sounds best to you, we encourage all applicants to apply to every session (Spring, Summer, Fall) if they are eligible, as our application pools are very competitive year after year.
When are applications due?
2020 Congressional Internship applications are due at 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the following dates:
- Spring 2020 Internship Deadline: October 15, 2019
- Summer 2020 Internship Deadline: December 2, 2019
- Fall 2020 Internship Deadline: February 15, 2020
We encourage all applicants to apply as early as possible to allow for us to facilitate the review process more easily and to avoid any technical complications.
Am I eligible?
The CHCI Congressional Internship Program requires that your degree be scheduled for completion after the prospective end of the internship session. Dates of completion for the 2020 internship sessions are:
- Spring Internship: April 17, 2020
- Summer Internship: July 31, 2020
- Fall Internship: November 20, 2020
What do I need to complete my application?
A complete application consists of a one-page PDF version of your resume or your curriculum vitae, your most recent unofficial transcript, and one letter of recommendation. In addition, we will require your essay responses as indicated in the application.
How many letters of recommendation do I need? When and from whom should I make the request?
CHCI’s Congressional Internship Program requires one letter of recommendation. You should identify and ask your recommender for a letter as early as possible in the application process. Be mindful of who you identify as a potential provider – we look at each letter to be sure the provider indicates having a positive working relationship with you and speaks well to your interests in public policy.
Given the level of competitiveness displayed by applicants, any information you provide intended to supplement your application (including additional letters of recommendation) is not guaranteed consideration for review.
Is there an interview involved?
At this time, candidates are not interviewed for the Congressional Internship Program.
How is a candidate selected?
A candidate is selected based on their demonstrated leadership experience, commitment to advancing the Latino community, quality of writing, letter of recommendation, and resume. Sponsor preferences are also taken into consideration
Candidates are reviewed after the closing of each respective application by program alumni, CHCI programs staff and, in some cases, sponsoring partners. While we strive to provide a timely decision to all candidates within about six weeks of the application deadlines, this time period can vary between applications.
How do I stand out as a competitive applicant?
Your essays are the best opportunity to tell us about you and we understand that each applicant’s story is unique. Take advantage of this space to indicate how you have exercised leadership in your family or community and how that has contributed to your interests in public policy. Please also ask a friend, professor, or mentor to review your essays in advance or to help you brainstorm what to talk about.
Are DACA applicants eligible to apply?
Yes. Applicants are not required to disclose their citizenship status during the application process. Once admitted, CHCI will require work authorization for onboarding purposes. Any DACA applicant accepted must have a work authorization valid through the last day of their program.
How can a college student participate in an internship during the spring or the fall?
College students every year take part in the spring or fall Congressional Internship Program. Students will need to work with their advisors to ensure this process goes smoothly. The majority of our students receive some sort of academic credit through their university for their participation in the program. Each institution identifies CHCI’s programs differently as an out-of-class experience, internship credit, independent study, etc. Some students might also take an online course or two. Check with your counselor or academic advisor with questions on participatory credit.
Can I take a full course load during my internship via online classes?
No. CHCI strongly discourages participants from enrolling in any courses outside of those that relate to receiving credit for their internship. CHCI interns cannot enroll in more than 12 online credits while participating in the program. The internship experience is intense and time consuming; interns who have tried to maintain a full time course load while completing the program have not had positive experiences.
How do I obtain academic credit from my institution to participate?
Check with your counselor or academic advisor with questions on participatory credit. CHCI does not recommend participants take more than 12 credit hours during the program.
What is the internship experience like?
After a week-long orientation, Congressional Interns are assigned to a Congressional Office where they gain first-hand knowledge of how the U.S. legislative process works. Intern duties may include, but are not limited to, responding to constituent inquiries, drafting correspondence and memos, attending congressional hearings, conducting legislative research, data entry and analysis, supporting departmental meetings and telephone conferences, and assisting with general office operations.
How are placements determined?
Congressional Interns are placed in offices that primarily align with their regional background. The program’s priority is to provide participants the opportunity to explore a new professional space and learn ways in which to approach public policy issues. Whenever possible, CHCI will take into consideration political party affiliations and work styles; however, we cannot guarantee placement in any specific office. If you are only interested in interning in a specific member’s office, we recommend you complete their office internship program.
Can only Latinos apply to CHCI programs?
Applicants interested in making an investment in the Latino community and or working on policies that affect the Latino population are welcome to apply to any and all CHCI programs.
My school does not appear on the application. How should I proceed?
Please send the following information on your school to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- School Name
- City, State, Country