Internship Opportunities:
 
 

To learn more about each opportunity, please click on the opportunity name. All internship opportunities are unpaid and onsite at the Chicago office unless otherwise specified. Please note that these are subject to change with each semester.

Internal Team Opportunity Name
Communications
Development
Finance and
Administration
Global Food and
Agriculture
Office of the President
Programs
Studies
 
 

While internship responsibilities vary by team, tasks may include:

  • Research
  • Assisting at Council events
  • Writing communications
  • Assisting in the development of promotional materials
  • Audience and outreach development
  • Administrative duties
     

Internship Application Timeline:


The Council offers three internship terms:

TermStart DateEnd DateDates Accepting ApplicationsCandidate Selection Dates
FallSeptemberDecemberMay 15 - June 15June 15 - July 15
SpringJanuaryMaySeptember 15 - October 15October 15 -  November 15
SummerJuneAugustJanuary 15 - February 15February 15 - March 15

 

Submission/Application Instructions

Please use the submission form below* to attach your resume, cover letter, and 2-page writing sample (e.g. a paper and/or excerpt from schoolwork relevant to the Council) in addition to indicating your preferred opportunies and availability. Please keep in mind that the required program support may include hours outside of standard business hours. EOE.

Fill out my online form.

Intern Qualifications

Students must be currently enrolled undergraduate juniors, seniors, or graduate students, have an academic major or demonstrated interest in international affairs, possess excellent research, writing, interpersonal, and verbal communications skills, be detail-oriented with strong organizational abilities, and possess working knowledge of Microsoft Office.

International students are welcome to apply, however, all selected international applicants will need to obtain valid work authorization on his/her own behalf.  Please feel free to visit the USCIS website for detailed work authorization information. 

Please click on the hyperlinked opportunities to learn more about the specific qualifications for each individual opportunity.

Intern Time Commitment

Interns are asked to commit to a minimum of 15 hours per week plus support at least three programs per month which will include activities outside of regular business hours. Candidates are welcome to apply for part-time as well as full-time internships, depending on their schedules.

Intern Benefits

While internships are unpaid, the Council offers limited local public transportation reimbursement to and from the office.
 
Interns also receive a complimentary, one-year membership with the Council. 
 
Interns may receive external sponsorship or academic credit for an internship at the Council. To make arrangements for academic credit, applicants should contact their university’s career center or academic advisor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often are internship opportunities posted?
How soon will applicants be contacted after submitting an application?
Can I contact someone to speak more about the position and confirm receipt of my materials?
How long do internship opportunities last for?
I have another opportunity bubbling up – can I find out if I’ve been selected sooner?
I am no longer a current student but am a recent grad, am I eligible for an internship?
I’m not technically a junior yet, am I eligible for an internship?
I’m on a quarter system and cannot work the full four months – will you consider a shorter term?
I am interested in more than one project/team. Should I submit separate applications?
I am an international student living in Chicago/living abroad. Can I apply for the internship program?
Can I intern or work-shadow a staff member for a few weeks?
Does a Council internship guarantee me a full-time position afterwards?

 

How often are internship opportunities posted?
  • The Chicago Council on Global Affairs recruits interns at fixed times of the year. Applications are open for the following three terms:
TermStart DateEnd DateDates Accepting ApplicationsCandidate Selection Dates
SpringJanuaryMaySeptember 1-October 1October 1 – November 1
SummerJuneAugustJanuary 15 – February 15February 15 – March 15
FallSeptemberDecemberMay 1 – June 1May 1 – June 1

 

Positions will be posted year-round on the website regardless of whether we are in an open application session.

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How soon will applicants be contacted after submitting an application?
  • All applications are reviewed on the timeline posted above. Candidates who are selected for an interview will be notified during the times listed above. Regardless of whether a candidate has been selected for an interview, all applicants will receive a response within 30 days after the interview and selection phase has ended.   

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Can I contact someone to speak more about the position and confirm receipt of my materials?
  • Unfortunately due to the high volume of applications that we receive, we are unable to take phone calls or in person visits in regards to internships. All interns will receive an email confirmation that their materials have been submitted. No phone calls, please.

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How long do internship opportunities last for?
  • Typical terms last 3-4 months but candidates can be evaluated for a longer term if their schedule allows. No internship will exceed one year in duration.

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I have another opportunity bubbling up – can I find out if I’ve been selected sooner?
  • No. All students will be contacted either during the interview and selection timeline if a team is interested in their candidacy or within 30 days of the last day for interviewing and selection if a candidate has not been selected. 

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I am no longer a current student but am a recent grad, am I eligible for an internship?
  • While our internship program is geared towards undergraduate juniors and seniors and graduate students to supplement their studies, some teams may consider graduated students depending on their experience, availability, and interest in intern tasks. However, please note that preference will be given to enrolled students.

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I’m not technically a junior yet, am I eligible for an internship?
  • While we’d like to be able to consider all applicants, our internship program is geared towards college undergraduates at the junior standing level and above. We find that our program is most beneficial to students that have had a few years of college coursework related to the Council’s work.  Furthermore, this additional education and other college-acquired skills supplement the hands-on experience gained through an internship. We would be delighted to consider you for a future term. 

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I’m on a quarter system and cannot work the full four months – will you consider a shorter term?
  • Due to the time invested in intern training as well as the inherent benefit in an intern having a substantive experience, the terms last 3-4 full months.  Depending on a team’s interest, however, they may be open to exploring your candidacy depending on their individual needs. Please feel free to apply, understanding that it’ll be up to the teams to determine if your availability will work for their team. We do sometimes have needs that arise on our teams or with our fellows that may open up new intern opportunities.

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I am interested in more than one project/team. Should I submit separate applications?
  • No. Please rank the three areas that interest you on the online application form.

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I am an international student living in Chicago/living abroad. Can I apply for the internship program?
  • You are welcome to apply, however, all selected international applicants will need to obtain valid work authorization on his/her own behalf.  Please feel free to visit the USCIS website for detailed work authorization information. 

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Can I intern or work-shadow a staff member for a few weeks?
  • No. We are unable to offer short term internships or work-shadow opportunities.

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Does a Council internship guarantee me a full-time position afterwards?
  • We are very excited that our interns are as passionate about the Council on Global Affairs as we are, however, interning at the Council does not guarantee employment with the organization. All of the Council’s open career opportunities are posted online and we encourage interns to apply to the roles that are of interest to them.

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Program Testimonials

Did this experience affect your career path in the future?
 

…Definitely. It made me realize the type of people, work, and environment I would like moving forward. I am incredibly sad to leave. 

Madison R.

...It helped me see paths available to me and receive advice from professionals in the field.

Rachel R.

…This internship was incredibly helpful towards more clearly defining my career goals. As a first generation student, becoming a doctor or lawyer were the only ways in which my family knew how to define success. It was incredibly important to see a number of successful professionals at the Council, both as employees and members, who have made their own path outside of these mainstream professions. 

Dorian M.

…Definitely. This solidified my career goals. I am incredibly interested in working to improve our global food system by pursuing the fields of global nutrition and public health, so having the opportunity to grow my understanding of these issues daily was extremely rewarding. 

Elizabeth B.

 

Would you recommend the Council on Global Affairs to other prospective interns?
 

…Yes - I loved interning here! The Council offers an incredible environment for interns to learn and grow in their professional capacities. 

Mariana C.

...Yes - The Council is a leading think tank in the world with very exciting programs. Having the possibility to collaborate with very talented professionals in global affairs was enriching.

Bruno O.

…Yes - I think it is a great opportunity for anyone considering a career in international policy. Not only does the Council's internship really give you a feel for how think tanks work, bu they really invest in your own professional development and cater to your interests. 

Madeline P.

...Yes - The Council was really one of the best internships I've had as a student. I was given a lot of responsibility and plenty of things to do with frequent meetings with a Senior Fellow to review more work and progress forward. The topic was directly related to my interests and I learned a ton. The work environment was also exceptional and the office generally friendly and open.

Maren T.

 

What did you like most about your internship?
 

…I enjoyed the access to programming and the immersive atmosphere. I felt as though I was a respected member of my team and was given the ability to have ownership over various projects. 

Ryan W.

...I don’t think I have ever worked in such a fun environment. It was fun because employees cooperate with each other, engage with each other, and are willing to help in any meaningful way. It was fun because I was able to learn everyday about something new, either professional skills, meeting new and interesting people, and attending events with people who shape the state of current affairs.

Bernie F.

…My favorite aspect of the internship was its focus on mentorship. While helping complete projects and push the team forward was rewarding, picking up pointers on both career paths and professionalism though interactions with staff members has been invaluable to me. Additionally, I very much enjoyed supporting the programs—having the flexibility to choose specific programs was worthwhile for someone who is a total geek about international affairs like myself. 

Matthew P.

…Some of my favorite moments here have been 'fly-on-the-wall' moments - where I was able to listen in on Senior Fellow, Global Economy, Phil Levy's analysis of NAFTA renegotiations, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Global Security and Diplomacy, Cecile Shea's predictions for postwar Syria, and State Department Visiting Fellow, Stephen Anderson's take on violence in the Sahel. I feel lucky to have heard such high-level commentary so consistently, either from sitting in on programs or from editing the Council's Deep Dish podcast. 

Michael T.