Internships and Employment
Internships and Employment
Sally Yudelman Internship Program:
WOLA’s Sally Yudelman Internship Program seeks to give interns hands-on experience and broad exposure to human rights advocacy and the foreign policy-making process. WOLA has hosted interns since the late 1980’s, and today our former interns can be found around the world working as human rights advocates, congressional aides, lawyers, journalists, professors, and even as members of WOLA’s senior staff.
Every semester WOLA’s new interns are paired with staff mentors and absorbed into the work of the organization. They collaborate on a mix of research, analytical, and administrative work, and they are encouraged to get involved in the day-to-day activities of their teams. WOLA selects seven interns per session (spring, summer, and fall), and each intern is assigned to a different program area—communications, fundraising, or one of many policy areas. Interns also get involved in the behind-the-scenes work of running a non-profit organization, including helping with technology, media, finance, and event planning.
Throughout the semester, interns have a series of “brown bag” lunch discussions with WOLA staff and representatives from other non-profits, foundations, governments, and multilateral institutions. Washington, DC serves as an additional classroom for interns, providing opportunities to attend NGO coalition meetings, congressional hearings, and other discussions and events to learn more about issues in Latin America.
WOLA’s internship program is named in honor of Sally Yudelman for her commitment and contribution to WOLA and the cause of social justice. Following Sally’s example, we hope to provide unique mentoring opportunities through internships, encouraging the next generation of young people to get involved in advocating for human rights in Latin America.
For a look at former Yudelman interns’ substantive contributions to WOLA and personal reflections on the Yudelman Program, check out WOLA’s Intern Blog.
Fundraising Internships -
Fundraising interns assist with various aspects of fundraising and institutional development, including event planning, donor cultivation and stewardship, database management, direct mail and email campaigns, prospect research, grant writing, and other responsibilities as part of the fundraising team. The position provides a hands-on experience in development and assures broad exposure to each of WOLA’s different program areas. Development internships will give students experience in the art of communicating WOLA’s mission and work to our broad base of supporters, and are ideally suited for students interested in non-profit management or philanthropy—in addition to human rights and Latin America. Experience with event planning, fundraising, or database management is a plus.
Communications Internships -
Communications interns assist with social media, WOLA’s website, content development, press relationships, video filming and editing, and a variety of other responsibilities as a part of the communications team. The position provides a unique look at the intersection of strategic communications, social media, press work, and the promotion of human rights in Latin America. Communications internships will give students experience helping to turn compelling stories into action by articulating WOLA’s mission and work for different target audiences, and are ideally suited for students interested in journalism, content production, strategic communications, or marketing—in addition to human rights and Latin America. Experience with technical software, press work, or multimedia is a plus.
Foreign Policy Internships -
Policy interns are each assigned to a specific programmatic area at WOLA. Within each program, interns take on a wide range of responsibilities; on any given day, one intern might attend a hearing on Capitol Hill while another translates a press release and another conducts research for a memo. The position includes immersion into one of WOLA’s program teams, and offers students first-hand experience in the research, strategy, and development of human rights advocacy. Policy interns are ideally suited for students interested in international relations, foreign policy, or political science—in addition to human rights and Latin America. Experience with translation, technical writing, and research is a plus.
Winter Term Internship
The winter internship is a short term opportunity for students to gain experience interning with WOLA outside of the spring, summer, and fall terms. The internship begins in early January, and continues full time for four to five weeks. Successful candidates will be matched with an area of WOLA’s policy work while focusing on a specific project that will be expected to be brought to completion within the short duration of the internship.
To apply, please consult the description and requirements of the Sally Yudelman internship outlined below, as they apply equally to the winter term. Please specify in your application that you intend to apply for the winter term.
Approximately 30% of the internship is administrative in nature—answering phones, helping with clerical needs, or working on a specific task. All other time is spent on substantive work. The internship is unpaid. Interns are required to work 32 hours per week during the summer and 24 hours per week during the spring and fall. While internships are unpaid, we offer an academically and professional enriching environment for interns to learn and grow. WOLA is willing to work with students to arrange for university credit.
Interested applicants should have a demonstrated interest in human rights, democracy, and social justice in Latin America; initiative and flexibility; the ability to work in a fast-paced environment; good organizational skills; follow-through and attention to detail. Motivated, self-starting interns excel at WOLA. A minimum of advanced-intermediate Spanish proficiency is required. Technical skills are highly desired.
Latin American and minority students are encouraged to apply. In general, the Yudelman Internship Program is not open to students who have passed beyond their undergraduate studies due to its significant administrative component.
In order to be considered for an internship, WOLA needs the following materials:
1) Cover letter in which you state:
- That you understand the internship is unpaid.
- Your specific dates of availability.
- Your willingness to work at least 24 hours per week (32 hours per week for winter and summer internships).
- Your internship preference (Fundraising, Communications, or Policy).
- Why you want to intern at WOLA, an idea of your specific interests regarding Latin America, and your Spanish language abilities.
3) The names of 2 references with email addresses and daytime phone numbers. Contact information is preferred over written letters of recommendation.
4) Writing sample (no more than 2-3 pages) in English on a topic of your choice. It can be a paper you submitted for a class.
Note that WOLA internships are unpaid. All WOLA internships take place in Washington, DC. WOLA is unable to assist with travel or living arrangements.
Please submit all application materials via email to Eric Oliver, firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer internship (late May/early June through August) March 15
Fall internship (early September through mid-December) July 10
Winter internship (January) October 30
Spring internship (mid-January through May) November 15
WOLA's Fall 2013 Interns
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What Past Interns Say:
The Yudelman program provided a crucial access point into the world of human rights, public policy, and NGO operations, which has helped chart a professional career path and equip me with the tools necessary to get there.
The Yudelman program involves you in everything going on in the office, from program research to policy briefings. You come away with substantive work experience and a deeper understanding of foreign and domestic politics..
The Yudelman program gives specialized attention to your work and truly values your contributions. By being so inclusive, the program opens your eyes to some of the amazing work and people who are involved in human rights and Latin American issues. Not only was the internship itself very rewarding, but the experience continually made me excited for the possibilities in my future.