The City of Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Internship Program (MIP) is an opportunity for undergraduates who would have completed their sophomore year by the start of the program and graduate-level students to learn about and contribute to the city government managing operations for the nation’s 5th largest municipality.
During their tenure, Mayor’s Interns are assigned substantive projects and tasks providing research, administrative, and staff assistance to City officials in various departments across the City of Philadelphia municipal government. Interns are also provided the opportunity to learn about careers in government, hear from leaders in City government, and visit City facilities and operations. MIP offers real work experience while exposing participants to the diverse functions and operations of a large municipal government.
The students selected to be Mayor’s Interns come from across the country and represent a diverse range of majors and interests. For instance, recent Mayor’s Interns have attended the following colleges and universities:
The Mayor’s Internship Program (MIP) is a ten-week unpaid internship beginning June 2, 2014 and ending August 8, 2014. Interns are required to commit to 25 hours per week and be available to work the duration of the internship program. Included in the 25 hours are departmental work, “Exploring Government” activities and participation in a group program. Interns must participate in all three components of MIP.
The MIP consists of three main components:
- Work component: Placement in a single department completing substantive work assignments (approximately 20 hours per week)
- "Exploring Government": Every Friday programming that includes speaker events, visits to municipal operations and programs, and leadership development training
- Group project: An interdepartmental issue a group of interns are assigned to analyze and develop strategies to address
- Mayor’s Interns are invited to participate in the “My Philly Summer” program with Campus Philly. This program brings together interns working across various businesses in Philadelphia over the summer for fun, interesting, and free networking events throughout the summer.
Interns are assigned to work in one department for the duration of the internship program. Placements are made based on background, interests, and overall match with the host department. Representing a wide-range of government operations, a partial list of last year’s host departments include:
- City Treasurer’s Office
- Department of Behavioral Health/IntellectualDisAbility Services
- Department of Human Services
- Department of Public Health
- Finance Department
- Licenses & Inspections
- Managing Director’s Office
- Mayor’s Office of Community Services
- Office of Leadership Investment
- Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy
- Office of Housing and Community Development
- Office of the City Controller
- Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health & Opportunity
- Parks & Recreation
- The Philadelphia Police Department
- The School District of Philadelphia
Interns work on a variety of projects and tasks in their host department and have the opportunity to work closely with managers within the department. Examples of potential tasks include:
- Program planning
- Research and analysis
- Data compilation and entry
- Constituent services
- Field work
- Grant writing
Every Friday morning, MIP hosts “Exploring Government” activities during which interns attend speaker presentations, visit municipal operations or programs, or participate in leadership and career development activities. Past speakers have included members of the Mayor’s cabinet, Deputy Mayors, Commissioners and other high-level City staff. Presentation topics have ranged from education policy to public health services. Past site visits have included large-scale economic development initiatives as well as neighborhood-specific housing and community development programs.
The group project simulates the process city managers undertake when working with an interdepartmental group to develop strategies to address a particular issue the City of Philadelphia government faces. Interns are divided into small groups and work with group project leaders on a policy or operational question facing the City. By the end of the internship, each group produces a short white paper outlining the issue and the proposed strategies and presents their finding to the City’s Executive Team. In 2013, the group presentations included:
- Bicycle Infrastructure Survey
- Open Contracts Data
- Germantown/Erie Commercial Corridor
- Save Our Precious Watersheds
- Understanding the Faces of Hunger
- Safe Corridors/WalkSafe PHL
Applications must be undergraduates who would have completed their sophomore year by the start of the program and graduate-level students. MIP may cooperate with programs under which students earn academic credit or quality for work study (when that work study is fully subsidized by the college or university). Please contact MIP staff for more information as to whether your program qualifies.
Applicants must submit all parts of the application (as detailed below) by 5:00PM EST on January 31, 2014. The Applicant Summary Form is to be completed online (link provided below). Applicant’s resume, letter of recommendation, and essay should be sent separately via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 31st. The email subject should read, [Last, First] MIP Application. All materials must be sent electronically (hard copy applications will not be considered).
The application consists of the following items:
- A completed Applicant Summary Form
- A Resume
- A Letter of Recommendation: Recommendations should be completed by individuals who can speak to an applicant’s academic or work/volunteer experience. Recommendations from a friend or family member will not be accepted. All recommendations must be sent via email and may be sent separately from the rest of the application. If sent separately, please include the following subject line: [Last Name, First Name] MIP Recommendation
- A 500-750 word essay that responds to the following questions:
- Why do you want to participate in the Mayor’s Internship Program?
- What areas of the City government are you most interested in working in? If you know specific departments, please provide those in your response.
- What skills or qualities will you bring as a Mayor’s Intern?
Upon receipt of your application materials, the Office of Leadership Investment will contact you to conduct an initial phone screening interview. Selected applicants will then participate in second round interviews with City departments. Out-of-town applicants may request interviews via telephone.
Candidates will be notified around March 14, 2014 if they have been selected to participate in MIP.
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