Poly Sci Major Making the Most of Internship Experiences

POLY SCI MAJOR MAKING THE MOST OF INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCES

By Stuart Esrock, Ph.D.

A Political Science major who has already completed several internships will next use those experiences as the springboard to helping to coordinate an important UofL internship program.   Dillard Collier is a senior from Danville, Kentucky who will graduate in May. He is currently completing an internship with Louisville Metro Government and councilwoman Keisha Dorsey, working on canvassing, voter registration, and several civic projects.

 Dillard Collier

 Collier previously took part in the Department of Political Science Frankfort Internship Program, working with state senator Perry Clark in the spring of 2019.  This past spring he lived in Frankfort for four months, working as an intern at the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission with varied duties including review of fiscal legislation, staffing revenue subcommittees, and contributing to budget meetings/proceedings.   

Collier’s multiple internship experiences were clearly attractive to Political Science Professor Jason Gainous, who directs the Frankfort Internship Program.  Dr. Gainous selected Collier as the Student Coordinator of that internship program for the upcoming Spring, 2021 semester. 

Collier is, quite obviously, a big proponent of internships. “I think they serve as direct channels for career assessment and networking. Internships expose students, and others, to professions and skill sets commonly required in the job market. Personally, these opportunities facilitated my exploration of public service careers and helped expand my personal and professional skills. My experience with these various public employees and government positions was profoundly educational and invaluable.”

Collier’s internship work has proceeded, even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, he said his internship work has, for the most part, been unaffected by COVID-19.  “At times, I've been sent home for virtual work sessions, but I generally work in-person. I do prefer the traditional internship setting. This is because remote internship obligations tend to involve less active participation in the work process and prompt a slight disconnect for me from the agency/institution that I'm observing.”

Collier hopes to continue his work in the public sector upon completion of his degree in May.  “I'm planning to attend graduate school to pursue a master's degree in either Public Administration, Public Policy, or Political Science. I'm interested in a career as a specialized legislative assistant, policy advisor, or some other similar position within the policy process.”

Dillard Collier has clearly taken great advantage of internship opportunities to build an impressive track record of experience that will benefit him as he launches his career in the public policy sector. If you are interested in opportunities in the Frankfort Internship Program like those that Collier seized on, contact in the Department of Political Science.