U.S. Department of State (Domestic - PRESELECT)

U.S. Department of State

(pre-select, domestic internships only)

This internship is intended for students who have already applied to and secured a domestic summer internship with the U.S. Department of State and are currently undergoing the State Department’s security clearance process. 

ELIGIBILITY: Students applying for this Director’s Internship position must have already secured a domestic summer internship placement with the State Department by undergoing the State Department’s formal application process, which has now concluded for Summer 2021 positions. Those who have secured a domestic State Department Summer 2021 Internship should currently be undergoing the security clearance process. 

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: In your statement of interest, you should include the following: 

  • Address why you’re interested in working at the State Department. 
  • Discuss how the State Department internship connects with your academic, extracurricular, or professional work experiences. 
  • Explain how the State Department’s work connects to your broader commitment to public service. 
  • Documentation confirming your State Department internship

INTERNSHIP PARAMETERS: The State Department internship should be full-time and last at least eight weeks. Start and end dates are flexible and based on mutual agreement between the host organization and the intern. In light of the ongoing public health crisis, the internship should be able to be conducted remotely.


2020 Intern Reflections:

I am currently doing quantitative research on China’s influence on the Middle East and North Africa with the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi. I only check in with my team once per week, though we keep in touch regularly via email by sending each other important news articles to stay up-to-date on the topic area and working together to find helpful data sources. Apart from that, I spend my days compiling and analyzing data — two skills that I have greatly improved upon — on my own time. I love this internship because my supervisor truly values the input of every single member of the team and constantly communicates about the real-world impact that out work is having in the State Department.

-Delaney Hurley '22

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At the State Department, I work within the Policy, Planning, and Resources division of the Public Diplomacy unit. Every morning at 9am, we meet to discuss our tasks and give work updates. Some of the projects I’ve been involved with is working on the Foreign Affairs Manual that the Public Diplomacy team plans to release. Another has been researching international digital laws.

I would definitely encourage other people to apply to this internship. The internship is extremely structured and as an intern you actually have the ability to make real change. The only challenge is that the internship requires a lot of security clearance, so working virtually makes it a bit challenging sometimes. The most useful skill I’ve learned from my Harvard career is being able to decompress a lot of material or information into a succinct report. In my Sophomore Economics Tutorial, we often had to read dsen Econ papers and extract the most important parts. For this internship, I’ve had to do the same and with much more unfamiliar material.

On an average day, we have a morning meeting to check-in with the team. Then I hustle through breakfast to do some readings and work on projects. Then we sometimes have an intern “Brown Bag” lunch to better get to know our coworkers and the State Department.

-Alexis Elliot '22

Washington, D.C.