This message is a courtesy of the Muslim Congressional Staffers Association (CMSA)
WHY SHOULD YOUNG MUSLIM AMERICANS PARTICIPATE IN CONGRESSIONAL INTERNSHIPS?
• It is part of the Islamic faith and Muslim tradition for believers to play an active role in their community, to work towards maintaining the well being of their community, and to positively engaging and consult with the diverse members and leaders of their community
• Washington, D.C., is our nation’s Capitol and an exciting city to explore, one of the best places to learn about our nation’s history, and is filled with great summer activities
• Work with and build a lasting relationship with your Congressional Representatives and their staff
• Learn firsthand the legislative process and related politics of Congress
• Meeting the need of Members of Congress and their staff to interact with Muslim American constituents and learning more about Muslim American social, political, and economic concerns
• Opportunities to meet the two Muslim American Members of Congress, the Hon. Keith Ellison (MN) and Hon. Andre Carson (IN)
• Be a part of an established and growing community of Muslim American professionals who work in Federal Government
• Participate in Congressional Muslim Staffers Association social events, professional networking, and attend the weekly Capitol Hill Jummah prayer
• An opportunity to network with and learn from hundreds of other summer interns in Washington, DC, who are committed to community service and public affairs careers
• Opportunities to learn about and network with the leaders of the various Muslim American advocacy organizations, media groups, and think tanks in Washington, D.C.
• Internship experience looks great on a resume when applying for graduate school or future employment
WHO TO INTERN FOR / WHERE TO SEND AN APPLICATION
There are four common ways to apply for Congressional Internships in Washington, DC. It is allowed for students to simultaneously submit applications for each option.
• Apply for placement with the two (2) Senators who represent your home state (the state you grew up in or where your parents live)
• Apply for placement with the Member of Congress (House of Representatives) who represents your home Congressional District
• Apply for placement with the Member of Congress who represents the Congressional District your University/College is located in
• Apply for placement in the Senate or House Committee that covers a specific policy issue you are interested in
[Note: There is no central processing center for Congressional Internship applications. Applicants send their materials directly to each office, to the notice of the Intern/Fellowship Coordinator.]
APPLYING FOR CONGRESSIONAL INTERNSHIPS
Students can apply any time of the year for Congressional Internships. Placements are available for fall, winter, spring, and summer sessions. For Summer Internships, applications should be submitted no later than April 1st. It’s preferable that applications be submitted as early as February 1st, but the earlier the better!!! Internships usually last for 8 to 12 weeks. Summer Interns can begin their programs as early as mid-May and most end no later than mid-August.
Application materials usually consist of:
• Cover Letter
Contact your Senators and Representatives office and speak with the “Intern Coordinator” to learn if other materials need to be submitted. Visit your university’s Career/Internship Placement Center and ask to review samples of Congressional Internship cover letters and resumes. Have a school counselor, Chaplain, or “English Major” friend to proof read and review the content of your materials before submitting them!
LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES AND CMSA
Members of Congress:
Congressional Muslim Staffers Association:
PROGRAMS THAT PROVIDE ROOM, BOARD, AND NETWORKING for Congressional Interns
• DC Based Fellowship Programs: These programs cater particularly to Muslim Americans seeking summer internships in Washington, D.C.
• Muslim Public Affairs Network (MPSN): This program’s application is separate from the application for Congressional placement. For consideration, you must submit two separate applications: one to MPSN and one to a Congressional Office. Acceptance into the MPSN fellowship program is contingent upon you securing an internship in Congress or any other DC-based public affairs organization.
• Center for Global Understanding (CFGU): A Partnership with The Washington Center. TWC will find you placement in a Congressional Office or other DC based internship you have interest in as part of the CFGU Fellowship.
• Congressional Based Internships: The following organizations provide placement in a Congressional Office as part of their summer program. They usually try to place you in an office of a Member of Congress from your state and/or close to your home district. It is still recommend that students apply directly to Offices just in case they are not selected by these organizations for their summer program.
• The Washington Center (TWC) – For pay service
WHAT TO DO WHEN AN INTERNSHIP HAS BEEN SECURED
Muslim American students who secure summer internships/fellowships with their Representative or Senator Office or Committee should contact the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association by mid-May. By notifying the CMSA, the Association will be able to add interns to the internal email listserve that notifies them of events and programs. Interns should send their name, contact info, arrival date and the office they will be interning with to Congressional.Muslims@gmail.com.
CMSA encourages Muslim American students to apply for Congressional Internships and Fellowships, particularly during the summer session. Although the CMSA does not provide internship/fellowship opportunities, nor have any formal role in securing placements in various offices, the Association seeks to quickly identify Muslims who secure an Office or Committee placement. During their time in Congress, Interns and Fellows are granted full access and participation in all CMSA programs. During the summer months, CMSA coordinates mentoring and social programming specifically geared for enhancing Muslim Interns’ and Fellows’ public affairs skills and networks.