FAQ for Applying to the NOW Internship Program
No. While most of the people who apply to our program are actively enrolled in college, graduate school, or law school, you do not have to be a student to be considered for an internship at NOW. Several of our past interns have simply used the experience to improve their knowledge of women's issues or their grassroots organizing skills. Others have used the experience to see if they would be interested in pursuing a career in feminist activism or the non-profit sector.
Unfortunately, NOW does not accept high school students to its internship program. However, we do encourage people of all ages to support NOW. If you are in high school and would like to support NOW, sign up as a volunteer!
Yes, we do. We recognize that men can be important allies in the struggle for women's equality, and we encourage them to work with us toward this goal through all areas of the organization, including our internship program.
Yes, we do. It is easy for us to accept international students to our program as long as they are already in the country on a student visa. If you want to come to the U.S. for our internship program and you are not a student, you must first apply for a J-1 visitor visa through a program such as The Washington Center. For more information about visitor visas, please visit the state department's web site.
It is easier to receive all the pieces of your application at once, but this is not mandatory. If you need to send your application in parts, please let us know which pieces of your application are still outstanding and approximately when they will be sent to our office. If you can't get all the pieces of your application in by the due date, we do ask that you communicate this to us as quickly as possible. We may grant you a deadline extension, but we won't wait for the additional materials indefinitely. If your application is not complete by the due date, and you haven't asked us for a deadline extension, we will assume your application is incomplete, and your application may not be considered.
No, it is not essential to have prior experience with NOW to apply for an internship. In fact, most applicants do not have prior experience with NOW. That being said, some of our best interns have come to the internship having previously belonged to or worked with a chapter or Campus Action Network.
There are many factors that go into our decision of whether or not we accept a particular applicant. One of these factors is the applicant's availability. We insist that any interns accepted to our program be available at least three days per week, and we don't accept interns who are available for less than six weeks (summer semester included). If you would like to work at the Action Center for less than six weeks or for fewer than three days per week, you should contact the Intern/Volunteer Coordinator for information about daytime volunteer opportunities.
We are very accommodating to students whose availability does not follow the traditional semester. On the web application form, there is an option for you to select which semester you're applying for, but we also ask you to identify your preferred start and end dates. If your school is not on the semester-system, please indicate the nearest semester to which you're applying and specify the start and end dates for which you are available.
We are very flexible on start and end dates for interns. Once you're accepted to the program, you can work with the Intern/Volunteer Coordinator to identify the best dates for you to start and end your internship.
Because the focus of our organization is on women's rights and grassroots organizing, the most outstanding applicants exhibit a strong commitment to and/or experience in one or both of these areas. Some things that might boost an application above others include: previous grassroots organizing experience, through local NOW groups or other organizations; political organizing experience; a strong background in the women's movement (through activism, academics, or employment); or an exhibited desire to promote ethnic or cultural diversity within the women's movement or in your community.
This is a one-page letter to accompany your resume that gives you the opportunity to let us know why you want to intern at NOW. Use it to highlight things that might not come across through your resume. Great cover letters will convey your passion for NOW's mission and priority issues, highlight your unique experiences and skills that may complement your work at NOW, speak to your ability to produce quality work, and/or explain why you'd make a great intern for NOW. We also look at your cover letter as an example of your writing abilities, so please make sure it is well written, organized into logical paragraphs, and free of spelling or grammatical errors.
With very few exceptions, your resume should be no longer than 1 or 2 pages. For the purpose of securing an internship with NOW, we are most interested in reading about your experiences working toward social justice. If you find yourself having difficulty deciding what to include, start by making a list of all your activities and then try to pick out which ones are most relevant to an internship at NOW. If you don't have much experience in social justice issues or feminist activism, and you want to get an internship at NOW to learn more about the women's movement, use your resume to highlight other abilities you might be able to bring to NOW.
Your resume should include your current contact information (if this will change during the intern selection process, please provide both temporary and permanent contact info as well as the date you expect it to change), any relevant experience in activism, volunteering, or employment, and your major/minor and expected graduation date (if currently enrolled).
Two letters of recommendation are required to complete your application. These letters can come from professors, mentors, activist leaders, employers, etc. Choose someone who will be able to speak strongly about the special skills, fresh perspectives, or life experiences you can bring to an internship at NOW.
These letters do not have to be confidential and may be included along with other materials you send. They can also be mailed separately or emailed directly from the author to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please advise the author to use the subject line “Recommendation for <Your Name>” so the email is easily retrievable.
Your writing sample is a very important piece of your application because it shows how effectively you can communicate through writing. Select the best sample of your writing you have to offer. While it does not necessarily need to speak to women's rights, obviously if your writing sample also addresses a feminist issue, we will have a much better sense of your background knowledge in that area.
Keep in mind the kind of writing you would like to do during your internship and pick a comparable sample. For example, if you want to do research and summarize material from various sources for the NOW Foundation, an excerpt from a research paper will highlight your ability to do so. If you are familiar with AP-style writing and are hoping to intern for the Communications Team, a good writing sample might be an article you've written for a class or a publication.
If you decide to submit a paper, please know that we will only spend about five minutes reading what you've submitted so we would prefer you to select an excerpt from something you've written, rather than submitting an entire 20-page paper. If you aren't specific about what we should be looking at, we may only read the first few pages and judge your work based on that.
A word of caution: if you select something you've written for a class, please do not select a sample with too many quotes or excerpts from others' writing. While these papers definitely have their place in academia, they aren't a very good indication of your unique writing style. An original essay, a persuasion piece, or a response to something you've read are better examples of how you organize your thoughts and communicate them via the written word. Please remember to include your name on your writing sample so it is easily identified if it gets separated from your application during the selection process.
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