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Office of U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley
  • Internship
  • Anywhere
  • Unpaid Internship

Internship FAQ

What does an intern in Senator Merkley’s office do?

D.C. interns are matched with a legislative team who work in specific policy areas based on interest and experience.  Specifically, interns are often called upon to attend briefings, write memos and draft constituent correspondence. Interns also provide administrative and day-to-day support for the office.  D.C. interns also have an opportunity to shadow the Senator for a full day.

Portland office interns participate in community outreach and assist constituent services as well as provide administrative support for day-to-day operations.  Work assignments are matched with an intern’s interests and experience.  In other state offices, interns work one-on-one with staff, helping to plan events the Senator attends, such as town hall meetings, business visits, and meet with local community members. They are expected to support general administrative needs in the office.

Both D.C. and the Portland office offer press internships.  Press internships offer a unique opportunity to work with members of a congressional communications team. Responsibilities of a press intern include preparing press clippings, conducting research, updating the web site, drafting press materials and performing a variety of administrative tasks.


When do internships begin and end?

Internships are offered year round.  Both D.C. and Portland internships are offered for summer, fall and spring terms and normally match up to academic schedules—both quarter and semester schedules can be accommodated.  In state offices other than Portland, there is additional flexibility and students may begin and end an internship at non-traditional times of the year.


Is the internship paid?

All internships are unpaid.


What is the D.C. Shadow Day experience?

Each D.C. intern has the opportunity to shadow Senator Merkley for the day.  While individual days vary, interns accompany the Senator to meetings, hearings and votes and get a general sense of the “everyday life” of a United States Senator.


Who is eligible for an internship?

Any individual with an interest in government and the political process as a whole is welcome to apply.  Preference is given to those with Oregon residency or strong ties to Oregon.


Is housing provided? Where will I live while interning in D.C.?

Housing is not provided, but the D.C. Intern Coordinator can provide you with a list of places where interns often find housing.  Previous interns have lived in local university dorms, made use of intern housing services and have even stayed with family members in the area.


When should I expect to hear from the Intern Coordinator after I submit my application?

Both Intern Coordinators make every effort to reply promptly once an application is submitted.  If you are concerned about the status of your application, please call the D.C. or State Office Intern Coordinator.


Are full-time or part-time internships offered year round?

For the D.C. program only:  during the summer, interns are expected to work full-time with the exception for summer classes, if applicable.  If you are applying for the fall or spring semester/quarter, please include what days and hours you are able to work.   Interns are expected to work at least two full days and at least one half day per week during the academic year.   Class schedules are taken into account for the fall and spring semesters/quarters.

For the State Offices: full-time internships are not offered in the state offices.  Interns are expected to work a regularly scheduled 10-15 hour week on a mutually agreeable schedule.


You may reach the D.C. Intern Coordinator at (202) 224-3753 and the State Intern Coordinator at (503) 326-3386 if you have any additional questions.

To apply for this job please visit the following URL: https://www.merkley.senate.gov/services/students/internships →






☆ Dont forget to tell your interviewer that you heard about this opportunity from the Urban League of Portland ☆