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Dec 29 / BARD CEP

Campaign Internship – Washington DC

Organization: U.S. PIRG

Job Title: Campaign Intern

Location: Washington DC

Hours and Compensation: 10 hours/wk; unpaid

Application Deadline: January 31, 2013

Position Dates: 

Posted On: Dec. 29, 2012

Organization Overview

Started in 1984, U.S. PIRG is the federation of State PIRGs. With approximately 400 staff nationwide, 300,000 members, and 100 chapters based on college campuses across the country, the State PIRGs have been advocating and organizing for public interest issues for more 30 years. We take on the special interests on issues such as product safety, political corruption, prescription drugs, and voting rights where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress. We research problems, write reports, work with the media, build coalitions, lobby decision-makers, and stand up for the public interest through grassroots organizing and litigation.


U.S. PIRG interns play an integral role in all aspects of our work by actively participating in policy implementation, organizational strategy, and grassroots advocacy. This is not a position where you sit on the sidelines fetching coffee for senior staff—our program emphasizes hands-on training and leadership development, giving students the opportunity to make a tangible impact on critical issues while gaining real-world experience that will prepare them for future success.

Each U.S. PIRG internship offers students a structured experience working one-on-one with one of U.S. PIRG’s staff of advocates or campaign organizers—the intern’s staff mentor. Interns learn basic skills that allow them to analyze issues and articulate solutions to the pressing problems of the day. Interns learn that activism and participation in the democratic process yield results.

Campaign Internships

Work closely with one of U.S. PIRG’s issue Advocates to drive campaign priorities in on one or two specific programmatic areas. Responsibilities include helping to research and write reports, organize media events, build national coalitions, and lobby governmental or corporate decision-makers in support of specific policy proposals. Throughout the internship, you will gain in-depth knowledge of an issue, develop strong research and campaign skills, and make a substantive contribution to one of U.S. PIRGs’ priority campaigns. There are campaign internships available for our program areas in Protecting Democracy, Tax and Budget, and Safeguarding Public Health.

Our winter campaigns will include: watchdogging the unprecedented amount of corporate cash that flowed into this year’s election and working to build support for a Constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics, closing corporate tax loopholes that increase the tax burden on families and small businesses, and protecting public health by keeping unsafe products off our store shelves.

Energy Service Corps Internship

Working directly with the National Director, the Program Intern will play a central role in our mission to save energy, protect the environment and save money all at the same time through energy efficiency. The Program Intern will be responsible for building partnerships with other members of the national service, environmental and college student communities to further build this movement. The Intern will work to develop event opportunities, joint program work and even fundraising proposals for projects like Dorm Energy Competitions, an Alternative Spring Break Trip, and more. The Program Intern will meet with community and DC-based organizations to expand the presence of the PIRG Energy Service Corps to more states and more college campuses. Additionally, there will be opportunities to work with the media, learn web and social media organizing skills, and coordinate program activities on over 20 campuses.

As an intern, you’ll gain hands-on experience, learn strategy and tactics for building coalitions and fundraising, and build support for shifting the way we use energy every day.

The PIRG Energy Service Corps is a joint project of the US PIRG Education Fund, the Student PIRGs and AmeriCorps. Our mission is to help people save energy, tackle climate change, and save money through direct service and public education around energy efficiency. Our program trains current college student leaders on the fundamentals of environmental organizing while giving back to the communities immediately around our college campuses. Find out more


Though responsibilities vary, most internships include:

• Conducting research into critical public policy problems and preparing investigative reports;
• Coordinating media events, assisting in the preparation of news releases and opinion pieces;
• Working with coalition partners and PIRG offices to coordinate grassroots campaign activities; and
• Monitoring the progress of legislation in Congress and the actions of federal agencies.

Interns may have the opportunity to attend local, regional and national program briefings and trainings where they learn more about public interest issues and gain political skills. Throughout the semester, interns also participate in “brown bag lunch” discussions with leaders within U.S. PIRG and the State PIRGs, as well as leaders within other organizations. We are looking for someone who is detail orientated, serious about building their resume and ambitious, is interested in developing social media and communication skills, and wants to learn about public interest advocacy.

Although U.S. PIRG internships are unpaid, students may receive academic credit from their college or university.


• A strong commitment to U.S. PIRG issues
• Strong writing and analytical skills
• The ability to debate and speak persuasively
• An enthusiasm for the work

How to Apply

Interested students should e-mail a compelling cover letter, resume, and short writing sample (no more than 1 page) to:

Carly Mercer U.S. PIRG Internship Director,

Positions will be filled on a rolling basis and the internship start and end dates are flexible.

For your writing sample, please write a persuasive essay responding to a recent article in the news. Select an article that interests you personally. The position you take should be your personal point of view; please do not play devil’s advocate.

It should only take up 30 minutes of your time and should be no more than one page. If you already have a prepared writing sample under two pages that you feel accurately reflects your writing ability for this internship, then you may provide this instead.

—– For more information call or e-mail Carly Mercer, the Internship Program Director, at (202) 461-3843

We also have internships available in our state offices. To search for other internship opportunities as well as job opportunities visit our jobs page:

For information about on campus internships with PIRG student chapters visit our student chapters Web site:

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