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About the Internship Program

Overview for Students

Purpose Statement

The State of North Carolina Internship Program provides legal residents of North Carolina who are students at in-state colleges, universities, community colleges, law or graduate schools, or who are attending equivalent institutions in other states, with a compensated experiential opportunity that integrates education, career development and public service.

Through a competitive application process, qualified students in a full range of academic majors are selected for internships in North Carolina State Government agencies. Internship positions are based on project proposals submitted by agency personnel and are designed to provide substantive and career-relevant learning experiences. In addition to developing practical workplace skills in a variety of professional areas, interns are effectively introduced to career options in public service and in the North Carolina State Government system.

While service to state government agencies is a valuable outcome of the Internship Program, the programs primary focus is to provide opportunities for students to build career-enhancing and leadership skills while benefiting from the civic experience. In so doing, the State Government Internship Program makes an important contribution to the quality of North Carolina'€™s workforce and citizenry.

Program History

Since 1969, over 4000 college and law students have gone through the State of North Carolina Internship Program. It may be the oldest and largest paid internship program of any state government in the United States.

The makeup of the NC Internship Council, which oversees the program, is also unique. The council includes former interns, a legislator, several college professors, and college career development professionals. The Internship Council chooses the projects and interns, thus keeping the program fair and patronage free.

Many of our interns have accepted full time state jobs at their internship sites after graduation (Governor's Office and the Museum of Natural Sciences are two examples). Even some of our legislators were interns in our program!

Pay Requirements

Interns are paid $8.25 an hour. To be considered, students must have completed their high school diploma and second year of college (or first year of community college); be enrolled in a college, community college, law, or graduate school in- or out-of-state, currently and for the semester following the internship; be a permanent resident of North Carolina; and have at least a 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Interns are selected through a competitive process overseen by the N.C. Internship Council.

Additional Program Activities

We encourage interns to network and explore the nooks and crannies of state government during their internship period by offering optional tours, site visits, and get-togethers. For example, in previous summers, Museum of Natural Sciences interns gave hands-on educational sessions to their peers. Coastal interns met at the  N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores for "behind the scenes" tours. Western region interns met in Morganton to tour the J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center, a facility for people with developmental disabilities, and to visit Exceptional Equestrians, a therapeutic horseback riding program.

Additionally, an annual internship reception at the Governor's Mansion offers interns the opportunity to network with intern supervisors, department coordinators, and others in state government, while receiving recognition and commendations for their contribution to state government agencies.