Office of the Michigan Secretary of State

Michigan Department of State (MDOS)

***FINALIST APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: All applicants are required to submit a resume (one page), statement of interest (one page), and two references by the application deadline on Sunday, February 6 at 11:59pm ET. If selected as a finalist, applicants to this host organization may be required to submit the following additional materials directly to the host organization after the application deadline: 

  • Writing Sample


INDUSTRY: Federal / State / Local Government

ABOUT US: The Michigan Department of State (MDOS) is the oldest and most public facing department with a mission to administer driver and vehicle laws and policies, provide consumer protection, and to oversee elections. Licensing drivers, registering motor vehicles, regulating repair facilities and mechanics, and supervising the state election process are among MDOS’ primary duties.

Following the passage of historic ballot proposals in November 2018, MDOS is currently implementing plans to standup an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to redraw electoral maps and create fair and impartial election districts, execute constitutional amendment changes to our election system to address new rights for Michigan voters, expanding on the necessary work to address election modernization, security and training, and eliminate barriers at MDOS for Michigan residents.

MDOS operates under the leadership of the Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s 43rd secretary of state who was sworn in on January 1, 2019. Her focus for the Department of State is customer-service excellence, innovation, integrity and transparency, and ensuring that all citizens have equal access to the participation necessary to sustain our democracy. An independently elected official, the secretary of state and the Department of State work alongside the Governor’s and Attorney General’s office, other state departments and legislative leaders.

RESPONSIBILITIES & PROJECTS: Office hours are 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. Executive office interns will tackle general office needs of the EO, work directly with MDOS senior staff and will also be given individual and collaborative projects that align with their skills and interest. Projects intended for interns through this program center on issues around:

  • Voting and Elections
  • Legislation and Policy
  • Barriers to Services
  • Campaign Finance, Ethics and Lobbying
  • Redistricting
  • Public Engagement
  • Youth Engagement

Interns will support the work of the Executive Office through:

  • Prepare research, data analysis and reports
  • Working collaboratively with the research team and other interns to further mission-oriented goals.
  • Synthesizing pertinent facts and issues from large amounts of information/data.
  • Disseminating findings into clearly written reports.
  • Performing duties as required.
  • Respond to inquiries in order to provide information concerning assigned activities.
  • Confer with staff in order to exchange information, to coordinate efforts, and to obtain information concerning projects and activities.

SPECIALIZED SKILLS: We are seeking applicants with the following qualifications/skills:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Highly organized, self-directed, and resourceful.
  • Experience using Microsoft Office Suite: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Graphic Design
  • Social Media Management & Marketing
  • Statistical & Data Analysis

Candidates who have a demonstrated interest/ability in the following a plus:

  • Demonstrated interest in public policy.
  • Some prior experience in research and/or analytics.
  • Comfort working with large datasets.
  • Knowledge of database language (SQL, R) a plus.
  • Knowledge of other coding languages (Python, JavaScript, HTML, CSS) a plus.
  • Knowledge of Adobe Illustrator or InDesign a plus.
  • Candidates from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The MDOS is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to workplace diversity.

REMOTE WORK ENVIRONMENT: Microsoft Teams is used for facilitating meetings. Depending on the project or team, meeting are held once a week to 3 times a week. We strongly encourage collaboration.


WORKING HOURS: The intern needs to keep the same business hours as our office.

EQUIPMENT & SOFTWARE: Access to high-speed Wi-Fi, Personal laptop, Smart Phone, Microsoft Office (Word, Powerpoint, Excel)

2021 Intern Reflection:

This summer, I have been given the opportunity to work with the Language Access team under the Michigan Department of State. Through my role, I have been working on various projects with the purpose of eliminating the obstacles non-English speakers face when accessing MDOS services. These projects include assisting with the establishment of Michigan’s first Language Access Task Force (LATF) and the development of translated election ballots. This experience has been incredibly rewarding. Not only have I been able to work with and learn from so many different individuals, but I also have been able to help on several projects that have a huge impact on the LEP community in Michigan, my hometown state.

- Sara Komaiha

2020 Intern Reflection:

This internship has been an absolutely incredible experience. I've always been hesitant about the role of government when it comes to activism and being justice oriented, but this summer has given me the tools and insight into how to push government on all levels to push necessary social change. This summer I've spent a lot of time focusing on the prison system in the state of Michigan and how to expand electoral accessibility as people are leaving prison.

-Mari Jones '21

2019 Intern Reflection:

My internship with the Michigan Department of State has been incredibly rewarding and engaging. The Department of State has control over both the Department of Motor Vehicles and Michigan’s election system, and although an independent agency, works closely with the Governor’s office and the state legislature. This has given me the opportunity to engage with a variety of aspects of state government, while also allowing me to dig in deeply to issues around election reform. I have spent the majority of my time working with the team focused on implementing Michigan’s voter-passed constitutional amendments that expand voting rights. Specifically, I have focused on how best to implement no-excuse absentee voting, which will allow all Michigan voters to obtain an absentee ballot and make voting more accessible, especially to historically disenfranchised communities.

All of the staff are committed to giving us interns the opportunity to engage with the issues we are interested in. We attend meetings of task forces committed to implementing the Secretary’s agenda, observe hearings at the legislature, and participate in meetings with the public and private partners working with the Department on our specific policy focuses. One of the best parts of this internship has been the opportunity to select and focus on issues that matter the most to me, as well as the ownership I have been given over researching, problem-solving, and crafting memos on these issues. The Department is filled with people who are experts in their field, and they are always happy to talk through different issues while also empowering me to dive into questions myself. The staff I work with are all dedicated to making it easier for people to vote and encouraging people to embrace this right. Future interns should be prepared to work hard on issues they are dedicated to while also exploring the variety of work being done in the Department.

Rachel Damle '21

Detroit, MI