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June 30, 2010

Welcome to the coolest internship experience. Ever. Besides getting substantive work experience, Generation Progress interns get a stipend, access to special events like film screenings and conferences, and the opportunity to use words like “substantive” on a daily basis.

Past interns have interviewed and/or attended events with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Cory Booker, Leader Nancy Pelosi, Noam Chomsky, Ryan Gosling, Talib Kweli, President Bill Clinton, Amy Goodman, Samantha Power, Senator Tom Daschle, and our very own John Podesta.


  • The chance to learn valuable skills and work for progressive change
  • A cash stipend
  • Fun working environment with a staff of 20-somethings
  • A community of 80+ interns like you
  • The chance to Facebook like it’s your job (because it might be)

Interning at Generation Progress

Intern applicants will work with one of the following teams within Generation Progress:


Higher Ed, Not Debt is a multi-year campaign of dozens of organizations dedicated to tackling the crippling and ever-growing issue of student loan debt in America. With over $1.2 trillion in outstanding educational debt, affecting more than 40 million Americans, we have partnered around a simple message and a clear objective: Higher Ed, Not Debt

Higher Ed, Not Debt interns research, write and publish blogs, conduct policy and legislative research, and assist the communication team in social media management and analytics, as well as attend White House and Hill briefings relevant to our core campaign areas.


Our on-the-ground organizing program is a key component of Generation Progress. Our Action Network identifies and supports youth-led progressive organizations working for social change. Our advocacy program also works with youth-led organizations to build community organizing power at the local, state, and national level. Our national advocacy program engages young people in issue-based mobilization campaigns in our three core areas of economic justice, human and civil rights, and democracy.

Advocacy interns help to plan and execute local and national events that promote progressive values and leadership and train our network on the skills they need to advance their work. Advocacy interns also assist with coordinating activities that engage our network— conference calls, webinars, online outreach, etc. They can also write for the blogs about issues and policy relevant to our core campaign areas.


Communications is a huge focus for Generation Progress. Raising our voices on hot issues and teaching our generation how to effectively communicate our values is critical. Our communications work is divided into two primary areas, online organizing and advocacy and covering breaking news on our websites, and Our young writers have the opportunity to build their communications skills and raise the voice and stories of young people around the country.

Interns in the communications team will be assigned one of the following roles, based on skill and interest:

Editorial interns produce articles, blog posts, and original photo essays for Editorial interns assist in editing content by other contributors, as well as cover events in D.C. for the blog.

Press interns compile and distribute daily clips and assist with crafting press releases, statements, and other media advisories. Press interns also help with coordinating and conducting outreach for press calls and events.

Online communications interns produce photos, rotators and other featured images (for use in emails, etc.) and other multimedia content for, as well as assist with the creation of infographics and execution of social media outreach.

Video/Multimedia interns produce short-length and rapid-response videos as necessary, assist with other multimedia work, including the production of online art, graphics, and photo essays. Video interns also work to identify and complete a long-term video project that advances GP’s mission. Photoshop and Final Cut Pro experience necessary, Motion or After Effects a plus.

  • Video production interns produce original, message-driven videos and cover live events. Video interns should be familiar with using a lighting kit, Adobe CS3 and Apple Final Cut Studio software, and innovative online distribution techniques. Interns should have very strong Mac-based post-production skills, experience as camera operators, and a strong interest in supporting any aspect of video production, for both original video segments and live events. This may include script editing, interview booking, camera set-up, camera operation, editing, transcoding, web posting, archiving and DVD authoring.

From the Horse’s Mouth

We asked interns what the high points of their internships were, and this is what they said:

  • Watching President Barack Obama sign the Student Loan Bill into law
  • Watching Ryan Gosling walk by my desk on his way to the bathroom (yes, there were angels singing in the background)
  • Meeting President Clinton
  • Calling President Bush and Ann Coulter and asking them to speak at our conference
  • Sorting staffers into Hogwarts Houses
  • Lobbying on the hill to end the war
  • Speaking at a college affordability press conference with Senator Harkin
  • Beating the Heritage Foundation in softball
  • Tabling at the Virgin Festival
  • Introducing the Media that Matters Film Festival
  • Having my Generation Progress website story picked up by The Nation

Here’s one intern’s story:

“I have been working as a web intern at Generation Progress and these have been some of the most challenging and rewarding months of my life. There is a lot of responsibility and the job is often deadline-oriented, but it has also presented me many opportunities for creativity and the pursuit of my own project ideas….Through all this I’ve been able to work with fun, dedicated, and highly supportive people, and to participate in some great events like our annual conference, all kinds of film screenings, and a free-food-eating contest which Wonkette deemed to be a “dehumanizing spectacle.”

How to Apply

Eligibility: All high school, undergraduate, master’s level, Ph.D., and J.D. students are eligible to apply. People are also eligible if they are a veteran or a recent college graduate within six months of graduation.

All summer interns work full time and a minimum of 8 weeks, although 10 weeks is preferred. During the fall, winter, and spring, part-time students are accepted, but interns must be able to commit to a minimum of 20 hours per week. International students must be able to provide documentation that shows they are allowed to work in the United States.

Application Process: Generation Progress interns are placed through the Center for American Progress’ Aaron Foundation Internship Program. To apply, please submit the materials below and in part IV of the application, list Generation Progress as your preferred placement along with the specific position within Generation Progress you are interested in.

  1. Internship application (links below)
  2. Cover letter and resume
  3. Writing sample of approximately 3 pages
  4. College or university transcript (unofficial is acceptable)
  5. Recommendation letters(s) (optional)

Suggested Deadlines:

February 1: recommended deadline for Summer applications.
August 1: recommended deadline for Fall applications
November 1: recommended deadline for Winter applications
December 1: recommended deadline for Spring applications


Summer: June – August
Fall: September – December
Winter: January – March
Spring: January – May

American Progress Internship Program Application (RTF), (PDF)

Please send completed application materials to the Intern Director via email at or by mail to:

Center for American Progress
ATTN: Internship Director
1333 H Street, NW
10th Floor
Washington , DC 20005

Before emailing your materials please put your name and the term for which you are applying in the subject line. Ex.: John Doe—Summer 2013. No phone calls, please.

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