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 invited 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—communications 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, the 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.

Fundraising Internships -
Fundraising interns assists with various aspects of fund 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 internship provides a hands-on experience in fund development for an international human rights organization and is ideally suited for college students interested in non-profit management or philanthropy.

Communications Internships -
Communications interns assist with social media, the website, press outreach, coordinating press lists, video filming and editing, and a variety of other responsibilities as a part of the communications team. The position provides an unique look at the intersection of strategic communications, social media, press work, and the promotion of human rights in Latin America.

Foreign Policy Internships -
Policy interns are each assigned to one of five programmatic areas at WOLA. Within each program, interns take on a wide range of tasks; 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. 

Winter Term Internship
The winter internship will be a short term opportunity for students to gain experience interning with WOLA outside of the spring, summer, and fall terms. The internship will begin in early January, and continue 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. To meet the needs of this winter’s projects, WOLA is seeking one candidate with Spanish proficiency and one candidate with Brazilian Portuguese proficiency, in addition to the qualifications below for the regular term Sally Yudelman Internship. Experience with translation is recommended. Applications to be considered for the winter term are due no later than October 27. Please specify in your application that you intend to apply for the winter term.

Application Instructions:

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 school year. While internships are unpaid, we offer an academically and professional enriching environment for interns to learn and grow.

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. Spanish proficiency is strongly recommended. Technical skills are highly desired.

Latin American and minority students are encouraged to apply. In general, the Yudelman Internship Program is not open to either graduate students or to students who have already graduated 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/Portuguese language abilities.

2) Resume.

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.

Please submit all application materials via email to Eric Oliver, 



Summer internship (late May/early June through August)   March 1
Fall internship (early September through mid-December)   July 10
Winter internship (January)                                                 October 27
Spring internship (mid-January through May)                      November 15


WOLA 2012 Fall Interns

WOLA's Fall 2013 Interns