Each semester students from all 14 of the Pennsylvania state schools have the opportunity to participate in an internship program in Harrisburg. The Harrisburg Internship Semester, or THIS, is a paid internship worth 15 credits. Applicants interview with a number of different agencies within the state government in order to find a placement that pertains to their individual interests or major.This semester, Adrienne Montony a West Chester University junior studying political science, was positioned in the Governor’s Policy Office. “I have been priviledged to see how government works first hand,” Montony said. “My sponsor, Sherry Tate, is the executive policy specialist for criminal justice and public safety and is constantly working to provide me with a valuable internship experience. Sherry has made me feel respected and appreciated.”
Interns like Montony, in addition to their regular assignments, attend legislative hearings and executive level meetings. The internship itself is only worth nine credits; the other six are earned through a research paper and a seminar. The seminar, held on Tuesday evenings, helps the interns learn about other areas of government that they might not have the opportunity to witness in their positions.
Dr. Davis, the program advisor, also organizes the seminar.
Montony said, “Dr. Davis is personable and strives to make this internship an enjoyable and meaningful experience.” Each week, a speaker from one of the government agencies is brought in to address the class. According to Montony, “they are extremely knowledgeable and help to keep the class informative and enjoyable.”
Montony is very positive about the experience saying, “I have been given assignments that have a strong impact on the departments; they have demonstrated their confidence in me by entrusting me with confidential information. This has been an enlightening experience that has helped me discover more about my goals for the future and mature on a more professional basis.”
The THIS internship program is open to all students. Anyone interested can contact the political science department for more information.