Tag: #NGO

Government Gap Years

By Jonathan Hogan

If you are interested in working in government but you’re not quite ready to commit to a career, or if you are simply looking for something to do between Lawrence and a career and have a background in government, you might want to consider a government gap year. In the following paragraphs, then, I will outline the most prominent programs and what they broadly entail.

Pathways Recent Graduate Program

The broadest program for government gap years is the Pathways Recent Graduate Program. Most broadly, the Pathways program is designed to “provide students [and recent graduates]… with a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school and while getting paid for the work performed” (“Students & Recent Graduates”). The Recent Graduates Program, as the name implies, is generally open to students who have graduated in the last two years. An important caveat, as with many government programs, is U.S. citizenship. Interns must have U.S. citizenship by the end of their one-year program. What sets the Pathways program apart is the fact that it is administered by nearly every federal agency. This means that students with interests as differentiated as agricultural and diplomacy could both find Pathways internships working with the State Department and the USDA respectively. Such a variety of programs, nonetheless, makes it difficult to talk about specifics. Most broadly, recent graduate interns are expected to work full-time for a year, for pay, while learning the ins and outs of their agency. Excitingly, one of the benefits of the program includes the possibility of being offered a full-time position at the end of the internship, thus making Pathways an interesting program even for those more certain about a career path with the federal government. To learn more about Pathways programs, it’s best to go to the website of an agency of interest to learn more about their specific practices.

Peace Corps

One of the most prominent gap year programs is the Peace Corps. Broadly, Peace Corps members are deployed to countries around the world where they learn the local language, typically live with a host family, and volunteer their time working on projects ranging from education to community economic development. While experience in the Peace Corps is not an internship with a government agency per se, its challenges of working abroad, fostering cultural and linguistic competencies, and working to support development overlap significantly with many positions in the State Department and USAID. The benefits of the Peace Corps include a stipend of $10,000 upon completion of the 2.5-year program, tuition assistance to a broad list of graduate school programs under Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship, and a higher likelihood of getting a job within the federal government. To learn more, check out the Peace Corps website and get in touch with a local representative. 

State Government Gap-Years

State governments generally have fewer gap year opportunities than the federal government for recent grads, that being said, many states do offer some form of an internship. In Wisconsin, there appears to be only one opportunity for recent grads, namely the Department of Transportation Internship Program. This program can see interns working in a wide variety of areas while “networking with other interns, state government employees, and management” (“Division of Personnel Management Student Internships”). State internships are likely to vary greatly, so it is wise to investigate the programs offered in your state when considering gap years.


AmeriCorps, much like the Peace Corps, is a service-based experience in which recent grads can gain experience working to help communities in areas ranging from disaster recovery to education. As the name implies, however, this program sees volunteers help communities in America. It is important to note that AmeriCorps workers work through an NGO partnered with AmeriCorps rather than AmeriCorps itself, thus, volunteering doesn’t constitute government work. Nonetheless, volunteers, who dedicate between a summer and a year of their time to the program are granted not only a reasonable living stipend and student loan repayment assistance but also professional development resources that can help kickstart careers in non-profit and governmental industries. Additionally, dedicating a year of your life/resume to government-sponsored service certainly helps one stand out to potential government employers. To learn more about AmeriCorps, visit their website!

Works Cited

“Division of Personnel Management Student Internships.” Wisconsin.Gov, https://dpm.wi.gov/Pages/Job_Seekers/StudentInternships.aspx. Accessed 18 May 2022.

Home | AmeriCorps. https://americorps.gov/. Accessed 18 May 2022.

“Meet the Moment.” Peace Corps, https://www.peacecorps.gov/. Accessed 18 May 2022.

“Students & Recent Graduates.” U.S. Office of Personnel Management, https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/hiring-information/students-recent-graduates/. Accessed 18 May 2022.

Jonathan is a Third Year German and Government major. He works as a Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

Fighting Displacement: Three resettlement NGO’s that support the most vulnerable populations

You can see – and feel – the despair and fear on the faces of over 4 million Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia’s advancing army.  Sadly, this is only the latest of many refugee crises our planet has faced in recent years.  From Afghanistan to Sudan, millions have been displaced as they flee war, poverty and oppression. 

Organizations, including the UN, struggle to process the massive waves of people searching for safety and an opportunity to live life with dignity, leading to a greater need for integrative services in countries offering asylum. If you have been exploring the NGO career path, here are three of the best known resettlement agencies:

International Rescue Committee (IRC) 

If you’ve ever spent a considerable amount of time on YouTube, you might have come across a heart-wrenching ad from the IRC. The IRC helps displaced people within countries in crisis. Provisions in crisis areas include shelter, cash assistance, food and water. Programs elevating long-term growth in-country include access to education, minority empowerment (working on policy with local governments), health programs treating preventable diseases and ensuring access to reproductive health. 

In situations like Ukraine where safety is not guaranteed, many find themselves leaving their home-countries entirely. IRC offers resettlement services helping refugees in their transition to the United States, where they receive assistance in a variety of areas including medical, housing, education, legal services, employment and more. 

World Relief

World Relief is a Christian organization founded in 1940 to provide recovery aid after World War II. Since then, World Relief has joined President Kennedy’s “Food for Peace” committee, responded to earthquake disaster areas, and provided aid to thousands of refugees. As of 2015, World Relief has worked in over 100 countries, has partnered with 6,000 churches, and has recruited over 95,000 volunteers. 

Much like the IRC, there are departments supporting refugees including immigration services, youth support, case management, education, and employment.

Refugees International 

Refugees International is an advocacy group founded in 1979 in response to the crises in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Their main functions are to “investigate displacement crises, create policy solutions and advocate for change”. Their Refugee Advocacy Lab dedicates resources to working with US representatives on creating supportive policies for refugees among other efforts.  The four main issues this organization focuses on is climate displacement, Covid-19, access to employment, and minority empowerment in over 40 countries. 

If you are wondering about NGO work and want to see if this work is for you? World Relief, Refugees International and IRC all offer internships available to undergraduates and graduates. Learn more about these organizations by clicking on their websites posted below:




Career Spotlight: Environmental Organizations

If asked to name a concern of global importance, many Lawrence students would cite the changing climate and its impact on the environment. Some go so far as to declare environmental justice as their desired career path. In fact, some past Lawrentians have already done so, choosing to turn their passion for the improving the environment into a career, by working for an environmental organization. 

While environmental organizations may occasionally be a private company or corporation, most of the time, such entities are part of local, state or federal government, or they may be a non-governmental organization (NGO), or an intergovernmental organization.  In addition to climate change, other environmental issues they focus on include pollution, waste, resource depletion and human overpopulation.

In the United States, the primary federal government agencies tasked with serving and protecting the environment include the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.  Most states have their own versions of some of these agencies as well. 

The list of NGO’s in the United States and around the world committed to environmental protection is too long to list, but you have likely heard of many of the larger ones, including the Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation, the Environmental Defense Fund, and Greenpeace

All of these government agencies and NGO’s hire interns, so if you are looking for a place to get hands-on experience in protecting the environment and fighting climate change, consider a summer internship for such an agency or organization.  Please note that government agencies hire their summer interns very early, so you should start looking as early as this fall for internships in the summer of 2023.

Another great way to get experience in this area is by joining one of the many Lawrence environmental clubs and organizations, some of which are Greenfire, the Lawrence University Environmental Organization, the LUCC Sustainability Committee and the Sustainable Lawrence University Garden (SLUG)

#NES Summer Opportunity Guide


One of the hardest parts about pursuing a summer program in any field is choosing one that is right for you. Thankfully for the NES community there is a wide range of summer opportunities to choose from. Schools and community centers are always looking to have an extra hand at helping out. 

  1. Location:

First you will want to choose where you want to complete your summer program. Do you want to stay within driving distance of your home town to spend time with your family over the summer? Do you want to travel to a new city you’ve been wanting to explore? Maybe you just want to live in Appleton and live on campus for the summer? There are many different options, however, location is the first thing you should consider before searching for summer opportunities since it will narrow down your search by a lot. 

  1.  Paid vs. Unpaid

The next thing to consider while searching for summer opportunities is if you will be paid for your work or not. Some opportunities may pay you in a stipend or bi-weekly in paychecks. Others, especially non-profits, may not pay you at all for your work. Some may even ask you to pay them for the opportunity, especially in certain arts settings (these opportunities may offer work study). If you have found a summer opportunity that you enjoy but it is unpaid, don’t worry! Lawrence has quite a bit of funding to offer for summer experiences. 

  1. What do YOU want to gain from the experience

There are so many different experiences that look amazing on a resume. Though some opportunities are at more “prestigious” places that doesn’t mean you wont get equally as good opportunities at smaller programs.  A Curating Internship at the Smithsonian can be equally as rewarding as a Curating internship at the History Museum at the Castle right here in Appleton. If you find an opportunity or program that looks like something you would like to do, apply for it! It doesn’t need to be at a big name company for the experience to be rewarding. Find one that works best for you and what you would like to do with your career. 


Well, you’ve narrowed down summer opportunities you would like to apply for… now what? Next it is time to prepare and send in your application. Depending on how many opportunities you are applying for, this could take awhile so be sure you have your deadlines in order before diving in.

  1. Application Materials

Most internships and programs require you to submit a resume. If you need resume help check out our article here or create an appointment at the career center and we can get you started! You may also need to create a cover letter to go along with your application, you can see a sample cover letter here. Be sure to triple check deadlines in order to get your materials in on time! 

  1. Gather References

References get handed in with your other application materials, however, they require a little more explaining. Many opportunities require you to list references for the company to reach out to to learn more about you. Some opportunities require you to list your academic advisor or current employer, but many leave it up to you who you want to list. We suggest listing any teachers, current or past employers who know you and your work ethic very well. 

  1. Interview

Interviews are probably the scariest part about the application process; you are so close to getting the position but the interview can really make or break the employer’s decision. Before your interview we suggest creating a mock interview appointment with us at the Career Center. We will conduct the entire appointment like it were your actual interview and then give you feedback on how you did and how to improve. Doing a mock interview with a friend also works well, and ensures you aren’t extremely nervous during your actual interview. 

Happy Applying!

Written by Marissa Lake ’22 Career Peer Educator

The Council on Foreign Relations Summer Internship

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is currently offering a host of internship opportunities for the upcoming summer. Ranging from Latin American Studies and Middle East Geopolitics to Editorial and Circulation, CFR has something for everyone in the GLI community. But what is the Council on Foreign Relations, and what do these internships entail?

              Throughout CFR’s history, it has remained committed to internationalism and political relevance. The founders of CFR first conceptualized the League of Nations, a precursor to the United Nations. During the Great Depression, when U.S. sentiments rose in support of isolationist foreign policy, CFR vehemently argued for internationalism. In CFR’s quarterly journal—Foreign Affairs—George Kennan released his influential” X-Article,” which introduced the idea of the “containment” of the Soviet Union to U.S. the foreign policy apparatus. Since the end of the Cold War, CFR has reoriented itself around new security concerns such as climate change, terrorism, cyber security, and human security. CFR has also integrated domestic policy to its repertoire with the understanding that certain domestic policies, such as education, are especially relevant to U.S. foreign policy. Members of the council on Foreign Relations rank among the most influential diplomatic, political, entrepreneurial, academic and media figures in the world and range from former President Jimmy Carter to George Clooney.

              As one might imagine, an internship with CFR is highly competitive; however, if you manage to land an internship, CFR will ensure that you aren’t just getting coffee. Cybele Mayes-Osterman of College Magazine writes that “The Council on Foreign Relations gives its interns the most close-to-reality experience of working for a political journal” (Source). During their tenure at CFR, interns are assigned a single research project, for which interns work alongside some of the brightest minds in foreign policy and often see their work published in CFR’s journal, Foreign Affairs. In conjunction with their research assignment, interns are invited to attend all Council meetings and round table discussions, ensuring that interns have access to both the professionals with whom they are conducting research and the broader array of council members. CFR demands professionalism and hard work from its interns; however, the personal and intellectual growth, not to mention the $15 per hour payment, makes the internship well worth the work.

              Internship positions for the Summer of 2023 are being filled on a rolling basis and can be found here. To apply, one must submit both a resume and cover letter. Additionally, a short skills-oriented test may be required depending on the position for which one is applying. If you decide to apply and need help with an element of the application (learning about resumes for the first time, interview prep, cover letter clean-up), feel free to schedule a meeting with me, Ty Collins, or any of our other amazing Career Center colleagues here.  

Works Cited

Council on Foreign Relations, Council on Foreign Relations, www.cfr.org/.

Mayes-Osterman, Cybele. “CM’s Guide to the Council on Foreign Relations Internship.” College Magazine, 12 Dec. 2019, www.collegemagazine.com/cms-guide-to-the-council-on-foreign-relations-internship/.

– Jonathan Hogan

Jonathan is a Second Year German and Government major. He works as a Career Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

NGO Spotlight: The Brookings Institution

If you are a member of the #GLI Career Community and are pursuing a degree in Government, you are most likely familiar with the name Brookings Institution. With this prominent and highly respected institution’s summer internship application now open, a more detailed understanding of the institute and the internship is warranted.   If you are interested in learning more about the Brookings Institute because you plan on applying for the internship, or because you simply want to know more about arguably the most influential think tank in the U.S. (and perhaps the world), read on!

The Brookings Institution, founded in 1916 as the “first private organization devoted to analyzing public policy issues at the national level,” analyzes policy issues and suggests policy solutions for an incredibly broad range of topics. A quick glance at the Brookings Institution’s website reveals that the institution covers issues ranging from state and local governance to national education policy to global poverty. The Brookings Institution has over 300 scholars dedicated to developing deeper understandings of their respective issues. Furthermore, given the Brookings Institution’s center-left political stance, scholarly positions are often held by top-ranking members of the Democratic executive branch during terms in which Republicans hold the executive branch. Given the institution’s close ties with government and its unrivaled reputation as a respectable center-left think-tank, research conducted at Brookings is often considered by federal lawmakers in the bill-writing process. Perhaps most excitingly—at least from the perspective of undergrads—is that the Brookings Institution offers internships year-round. At the moment, the summer internship application period is currently open.

If you would like to apply to the Brookings’ summer internship program simply click here.  Internships are specified by foci, ranging from events and communications internships to research internships on a  myriad of issues. To apply, you will need a resume, a cover letter, and your academic transcript. If you are accepted, you will also need two letters of recommendation.  Should you need help with your interviewing skills, your resume, or your cover letter you can schedule an appointment with Ty Collins at the Career Center at any time by clicking here. The application window for the summer internships closes on February 28th.

Jonathan Hogan

Jonathan is a Second Year German and Government major. He works as a Career Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.