This program offered through Southern Illinois University
provides paid internship opportunities to SIU undergraduate
students interested in professional careers in politics
and with state government. Students from all academic backgrounds
who have reached junior status (i.e., completed fifty-six
hours of course work) and who are in good academic standing
are invited to apply to the program.
The program is named after Senator Vince Demuzio of Carlinville,
who, after battling colon cancer, died April 27, 2004. A
champion of Downstate Illinois, Senator Demuzio was elected
to the Senate in 1974, served as chairman of the state Democratic
Party from 1986 to 1990, and was serving as Majority Leader
of the Illinois Senate at the time of his death at age 62.
The Vince Demuzio Governmental Internship Program offers
two distinct types of internship experience.
- Legislative staff internships with House and Senate
Republicans and Democrats. Typically, interns work in
the home office fifteen to twenty hours per week while
attending classes full time and perform duties as regular
staff members. The most important criteria for the internship
experience are good oral and written communication skills
and a strong commitment to public service.
- Internships with a state agency. Typically, interns
work fifteen to twenty hours per week in one of several
local state agency offices while attending classes full
time and perform duties as regular staff members. The
most important criteria for the internship experience
are good oral and written communication skills and a
strong commitment to public service.
Interns may begin working any time openings are available.
Subject to evaluation, interns may work upwards of eight
semesters. Concurrently, they enroll for two or three hours
of internship credit each semester. Interns enrolled in
a field practicum course required for their major may use
that course to fulfill the academic requirements of the
internship, provided part of the course assignments relate
to the Demuzio internship experience. Enrollment in
the internship course is waived for the first semester if
the internship begins six weeks or later into the fall or
spring semester. Upon completion of the internship,
many students seek employment at other levels of government,
pursue further graduate or professional education, or choose
career opportunities in the private sector.
The program has several objectives:
- Make Illinois state government an attractive career
goal for college graduates.
- Provide undergraduate college students with a unique
opportunity to work in and observe close hand the benefits
of careers in public service.
- Partner with participating legislators and state
agencies in their efforts to attract qualified candidates
to careers in state government.
What are the requirements for eligibility?
What is the salary paid to interns?
- Maintain full-time student status through period
of internship (minimum of twelve credit hours per fall/spring
semester and six credit hours during summer sessions)
and make good academic progress toward degree completion
as determined by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
- Minimum of junior status (i.e., at least fifty-six
hours of baccalaureate-level course work) and be in
good academic standing.
- Minimum GPA of 2.75 overall and/or 3.00 in the major
on a 4.00 scale.
- Willingness to commit for a one- to two-year period
- Concurrent enrollment in a two- to
three-credit-hour internship course for fall and
spring semesters (summer session excluded), for
which students will complete reading and writing
assignments related to the internship experience as
assigned by SIU faculty. Interns enrolled in a
field practicum course required for their major may
use that course to fulfill the academic requirements
of the internship, provided part of the course
assignments relate to the Demuzio internship
experience. Enrollment in internship course is
waived if internship begins six weeks or later into
the fall or spring semester.
Interns who work sixty hours per month receive $720
per month; interns who work eighty hours per month
receive $960 per month (Rates are established by and may
be modified by the Office of the President.)
When is the application deadline?
Applications are received any time during the year and,
depending upon eligibility and availability, are referred
to the appropriate legislator or department supervisor for
Who administers the program?
Legislative staff internships are administered for
the Illinois General Assembly by the Office of the Vice
President for Academic Affairs at Southern Illinois
University (tel. 618-536-3465). Internships in the state
agencies are administered at SIUC by the Paul Simon
Public Policy Institute (tel. 618-453-4009) and at SIUE
by the Career Development Center (tel. 618-650-3708).
Under special circumstances, such as one in which
it would be necessary to avoid any perceived
conflict of interest, placement of interns may be
handled other than as outlined above (for example, the
Office of the President may handle placement of an
intern in a state agency).