Internship FAQs for Students

Am I eligible to apply?

Applicants must currently be enrolled in a Maine college or be a Maine resident enrolled in college elsewhere, and must have successfully completed a minimum of two years of college by the start of the internship. Students currently graduating from undergraduate and graduate programs also are eligible. While students who previously have participated as interns in this program may apply again, students who have not previously participated will be given preference. We encourage all eligible students to apply, including traditional and non-traditional students from all backgrounds.

Are foreign students eligible?

Students who are not US citizens or permanent residents must have a visa which allows them to work off campus for pay. If you are uncertain, please check with your school’s international office.

Are positions available for students with my college major?

Job areas include education, engineering, social media, conservation, law, data analysis, finance, and everything in between. All majors may apply. Intern selections are made by identifying students who best match the requirements for each position. Each year is different, but take a look at the 2022 and 2021 Internship Reports  to see the variety of college majors and intern projects. Here is a sample listing of previous internships (pdf).

Are there GPA requirements to be an intern?

While there are no minimum GPA requirements, the selection process is competitive. Selections are based on the quality of application materials, coursework and experience in relation to the requirements of the positions available.

What materials do I need for the application?

The student application is on-line through our website and will require a cover letter, resume and unofficial transcripts. The supervisor request for an intern is online and will require a job description and list of skills and experience desired from a candidate.

What is the application deadline and when will I hear back?

March 3rd  is the application deadline for students. We make offers to students starting in mid-March and lasting until all positions are filled (usually mid to late April). Feel free to inquire at any time.

Can I receive academic credit for my internship?

The Maine Government Summer Internship Program does not grant academic credit. Students seeking academic credit must make arrangements with their academic advisor at their own college or university.

What positions will be available this summer?

State and municipal agencies request interns at the same time as students submit their applications, so at this time we do not know which positions will be available. Students with the skills best fitted to each position are identified by a selection committee. The availability and types of positions are dependent on agency funding and particular needs. Here is a sample of past internships (pdf). Note that state internships are in the executive branch of government.

How many internships are available this year?

Each year varies: in 2023 there were 48 internships and 139 applicants from 40 different schools; in 2019 there were 63 internships and 265 applicants.

What are some of the projects interns work on?

Each year brings a different selection of internships. Most internships consist of at least one major project and many smaller ones. You can see some representative projects that previous interns worked on (pdf) here.

How much does the internship pay?

Internship positions are full-time (40 hours per week). In 2023 interns earned at least $15.00 per hour over 12 weeks (withholdings and contributions will apply).

If I am awarded an internship position, where will I be working?

Most state internships are located within the capital area (Augusta, Gardiner, Hallowell). There will be a select number of municipal/county internships throughout the state; past locations have included Caribou, Presque Isle, Bethel, Bridgton, South Portland, Saco, Ellsworth, Portland, Bangor and others. Carefully consider where you will be willing to work during the summer when completing related questions on the application. The program does not offer housing or transportation (Some positions provide a vehicle if required for work-related travel while others will reimburse for travel in your own vehicle).

How are students selected to be interns?

A selection committee reviews all student applications along with the positions available and identifies students who best match the requirements for each position. Students are encouraged to be as specific as possible in describing their skills and experience when submitting their application materials. Please make use of the cover letter for describing what type of job you are most interested in and why.

Are these internships in the Legislature?

No, the Maine Legislature is not typically in session over the summer. State internships are in the executive branch of state government. Municipal and county internships are in their respective locations.

Can I choose my internship?

You apply to the program, not the job. The selection committee reviews each job and chooses the each applicant with the best fit based on the information available. Be sure to be clear in your application about what your interests are and which skills you would like to be using. If you are offered an internship you may choose to accept or decline that position.

If I am selected, will I be working with the MCS Policy Center?

No, this program places students in state government internships and in internships in town and city governments. If you want an internship at the Policy Center, contact the Center directly.

When are students notified if they have been selected?

Selection begins in mid-March and students will be given approximately 5 days to accept or decline the position offered. This process continues until all positions are filled. Students not selected will be notified once all positions have been filled, usually in mid April.

Is there an interview?

There is no formal interview requirement, though many supervisors will request a phone call with an applicant before a decision is made. Please be sure you include all relevant information in your application documents.

What if I can’t start on the program start date?

We recognize that some school calendars don’t coincide with our dates and we try to accommodate this. All else equal, preference may be given to applicants who can work the 12 weeks specified in the program.  However, there are sometimes students who need to adjust the dates for various reasons. By mutual agreement a supervisor and intern can determine an exception to the official start or end date, if the nature of the internship allows.

Can I earn a credential for my internship?

If you are a student at one of the University of Maine System campuses, find out more about badges and micro-credentials. Other schools may also have credential programs.

Is this the only way to get a summer internship in Maine government?

Internships may be available through other state programs and some state agencies hire independently. Many municipal governments also hire interns directly.