State political organizations seek summer interns

Student government elections may be over, but there are still ways for ASU students to get political experience.

The Thomas Road and Central Avenue stop of the Metro Light Rail is located outside the headquarters of the Arizona Democratic Party, where some students elect to add a politically-geared internship to their academic curriculum.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to roll up their sleeves and make a difference,” said Jennifer Johnson, the communications director for the Arizona Democratic Party.

The group is offering summer organizer internships to both students and non-students.

“We are looking to bring on board summer organizers to help the state party outreach to different communities,” executive director Luis Heredia said in an email. “We have a huge year in 2012.”

Summer organizers would work to reach out to a coalition of young, Latino and African-American voters, as well as those in tribal communities and other important groups within in the Democratic Party, he said.

Journalism sophomore Hannah Lurie said she had an enriching internship experience with the Arizona Democratic Party in 2010.

With a degree concentration in public relations, Lurie was able to apply her knowledge to assist with research and tasks that helped the communications department function through primaries and general elections.

“I feel a lot more informed than I did before the internship,” she said. “You learn a lot.”

If students aren’t feeling blue enough for an internship with the Democratic Party, the Goldwater Institute offers students internships as well.

The Goldwater Institute, named for influential Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, is an independent government watchdog, according to the institute’s website.

The Ronald Reagan Fellows Internship at the institute aims to expose juniors, seniors, recent graduates and graduate students to principles and operational aspects of a public policy research organization.

“It’s a great way for them to learn a lot of things,” said Dan Guerin, communications associate at the Goldwater Institute.

Interns at the institute conduct research for analysts, work with the communications team, meet many people and make useful contacts, he said.

“We really rely on them to help us,” Guerin said.

For more information about these internships, students can visit the Goldwater Institute and the Arizona Democratic Party websites.

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