The UAPP Program places a strong emphasis on practical learning to establish a robust foundation for students' careers. An essential part of this experience is the required three-credit internship, allowing students to apply their knowledge in real political, economic, and social contexts.
The internship may be taken after students have completed 18 credits which is usually after two semesters for a full-time student. We encourage students to begin actively and independently searching for and applying to organizations about 6 months before the semester you would like to complete your internship.
To guide students through this process, the curriculum includes a required professional development class, exploring internship options and covering essential skills such as cover letter and resume writing. Those with significant prior public policy work experience should consult with the Director for personalized guidance.
Loyola's Urban Affairs and Public Policy program has formed many valuable relationships with organizations and government agencies around Chicago. As the program frequently receives information on potential openings, students can expect regular communication from the program office highlighting internship and job opportunities.
The Internship Experience
Internship opportunities cover a wide range of fields, reflecting the diverse interests and talents of our students. Some recent student internship placements include various city wards, non-profit organizations like After School Matters and AIDS Foundation of Chicago, government departments, and advocacy groups such as the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
To provide a glimpse into the internship experience, Claire Kruchten, recent intern with the 49th Ward Service Office.
The 49th Ward is home to the Rogers Park neighborhood and Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. The Ward Service Office serves constituents of all backgrounds and local businesses to address their unique needs. Whether they are seeking affordable housing vouchers, requesting event permits, or looking to resolve neighborhood disputes, the 49th ward office provides them with the tools they need to both solve problems and celebrate triumphs. Additionally, the staff supports the alderwoman to bridge the concerns and interests of the 49th ward with the city council.
As an intern, my job was to help the ward office with basic operations, especially fielding walk-ins and callers. Some of my responsibilities included greeting constituents, filing 311 service requests, and directing them to other staffers to address more critical needs. There were often calls that required the help of other staffers like zoning requirements or tenant disputes. Sometimes issues were as simple as filing a service request for a broken tree branch, while other times I got to know constituents personally and helped them with ongoing issues. A few examples of the issues included requesting senior well-being checks, applying for housing vouchers, filing flooding reports, and providing mental health resources.
During my time working in the 49th Ward Service Office, I learned that constituent relations are incredibly personal --there is a very rich community in Rogers Park. The neighborhood is living, breathing, and constantly changing. There is so much need in the 49th, but even more, people are willing to help their neighbors and make their community better. My time in the 49th Ward Office has afforded me the opportunity to apply the concepts learned in the MPP program to a work environment. I have gained a glimpse into both the ups and downs of constituent services, and am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the exceptional staff of the ward office and its constituents.