Texas Tech University

FAQ

Q: Is this worth my time—taking a semester off?
A: Yes, this is a unique once in a lifetime experience. You will get to live in another city (Washington, D.C. or Austin, Texas), see how our government works, and meet some amazing people. You will also earn course credit during your internship.

Q: I don’t want to be a politician; will this benefit me?
A: Most students who participate in this internship do not have political aspirations. The benefits from a state or federal internship are endless; networking opportunities, potential job opportunities (on and off the Hill), valuable work experience to add to your résumé, and many more. You get what you put into any internship, so make the best of it.

Q: What kind of housing is provided in DC?
A: Texas Tech University is fortunate to have the Tech House for TTU interns. There are two floors that can house 8-9 people per floor. Each floor has everything you need, kitchen, laundry room, bathrooms and bedrooms. Plus the Tech House is close to the offices you work in so your commute is short.

Q: How do I pay for rent?
A: CASNR provides an internship scholarship for students selected as CASNR interns. This scholarship primarily covers your housing costs for the semester and secondly some of your living expenses. Individuals are responsible for their own travel expenses.

Q: What is the process to apply for the internships?
A: First you have to fill out the application. Applications are usually taken one semester in advance so you will need to pay attend to application deadlines. Then you will be scheduled for interviews. The first one is with the CASNR Scholarship Committee, and the second one is with CASNR scholarship donors that make the internship program possible.

Q: Will I just be answering phones during my internship?
A: Having realistic expectations going into any internship is important. You are not going to be the elected official’s right hand. You will give capitol tours, you will probably get to make the morning coffee, sort mail, answer phones but just as with every job, you have to start at the bottom and prove you can do more. As your coworkers learn your skill set, you will be given additional work and projects. Basically the possibilities are endless if you are willing to put forth the effort and really work.

Q: What kind of contacts will I make?
A: You will make contacts ranging from students who are interning from other universities, friends that you will keep in touch with, and who if you decide to go back up there can put in a good word for you in terms of applying for jobs. You also make some possible employer contacts. You are the first person many people deal with when coming into the office, and just by talking to them, you might just impress them.

Q: Is there any other information I should know before applying?
A: All in all, Washington, DC isn't a whole lot different than Lubbock. Generally speaking the people are nice, always stand on the right side of the escalator, walk on the left, the subway is your best friend, and don't be afraid to just go explore the city, it is a very beautiful city with so much to see that is off the beaten path.

Q: Do I have time to travel while I am up there?
A: Yes, you have weekends and holidays off. Trips to Gettysburg, Philly, New York, and the Shennandoah River Valley are not a huge problem.

Q: When do you feel the best time to complete my internship would be? (fall, spring, or summer)
A: Fall and spring are the most active times in Washington; D.C. Summer is slower in the offices because Congress is usually in recess during the summer. State level internships are only available in spring of odd numbered years.