WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

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’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. 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 undergraduate interns per session (Spring, Summer, and Fall), and each intern is assigned to a different program area—communications, fundraising, or one of the five policy programs. Interns also participate in the behind-the-scenes work of running a non-profit organization, including helping with technology, media, finance, and event planning.

For a look at former interns’ contributions to WOLA and personal reflections on the Yudelman Program, check out:

 

 WOLA’s Intern Blog   WOLA’s Intern Twitter.

 

Fundraising Internships

Fundraising interns assist with various aspects of fundraising and institutional development, including event logistics and planning, database management, mail and email campaigns, grant writing, and other responsibilities as part of the fundraising team. Interns will learn about donor cultivation and stewardship and prospect research. The position provides a hands-on experience in development and assures broad exposure to each of WOLA’s different program areas. Fundraising 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 and administration, 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 in turning 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 digital software, press work, graphic design, and multimedia is a plus.

Foreign Policy Internships (Five Programs)

Policy interns are each assigned to a specific programmatic area at WOLA (Defense Oversight/Drug Policy, Cuba, Colombia, Citizen Security, and Mexico). Within each program, interns take on a wide range of responsibilities; on any given day, an 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.

 

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS:

If you are selected for an internship, you will receive a $1,000 stipend from WOLA towards the end of your internship. A travel allowance is also provided. Internship stipends are not considered salary, they are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during their internship. Interns receive a financial summary at the end of each calendar year and are responsible for meeting their own state and federal tax obligations.

Approximately 30% of the internship is administrative in nature— helping with clerical needs, or working on a specific task. All other time is spent on substantive work. Interns are required to work 24-40 hours per week. 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 intermediate-advanced Spanish proficiency is required. Technical skills are highly desired. In general, the Yudelman Internship Program is not open to students who have passed beyond their undergraduate studies due to its significant administrative component.

WOLA values a diverse workplace, and encourages minority candidates to apply. WOLA is an equal opportunity employer, and does not discriminate based upon race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, prior record of arrest or conviction, or caregiver status. WOLA does not sponsor visas for students outside of the United States.

In order to be considered for an internship, WOLA needs the following materials:

1) Resume. 

2) Cover letter in which you state:

  • Your specific dates of availability.
  • Your willingness to work at least 24 hours per week.
  • Your internship preference (fundraising, communications, or foreign 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 samples (no more than 1-2 pages) in English and Spanish on a topic of your choice.

All WOLA internships take place in Washington, DC. 

Please submit all application materials via email to Larissa Ong at [email protected].

Deadlines:

March 15: Summer Internship (late May through August)
July 15: Fall Internship (mid-September through December)
November 15: Spring Internship (mid-January through May)

 

WOLA gave me invaluable academic and professional direction. I was surrounded by experts who were willing and able to answer my questions and provide me with amazing opportunities.

Joseph Bateman, Fall 2008 Intern

 

You witness first-hand how Washington works by being part of it… It makes you appreciate the complexities of democracy in the United States and Latin America.

Evita Rodriguez, Summer 2005 Intern

WOLA’s Summer 2016 Interns

 

Spring 2016 Interns (2)

WOLA’s Spring 2016 Interns at the WOLA Book Award at the Swiss Embassy

 

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WOLA’s Fall 2015 Interns at the Human Rights Award Ceremony and Benefit Gala

 

Summer 2015 2

WOLA’s Summer 2015 Interns at Congress

 

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WOLA Intern Alumni Reunion in March 2016

 

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