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Internships and Careers

Legal-Government / SD Legislature

Legislature garrett

This is the most popular internship opportunity for political science majors. It is taken spring semester in Pierre, with the legislative session from January into early March. You can take this for 9 credits of POLS 494 (Internship). Three of those credits count for political science, the other six are general electives towards graduation. You can then take South Dakota Legislative Issues online for 12 credits total. This internship pays approximately $5,000 and the semester concludes in early March. Our students are given real responsibility in Pierre. For those interested in legal studies, this is a good alternative to internships in law firms, where the experience is somewhat limited because of confidentiality issues.

Business / Daktronics

Daktronics screen

Daktronics is a model of collaboration between education and industry. Begun in 1968 by two SDSU professors of electronic engineering, it has grown into an international leader in electronic scoreboards, programmable displays systems and large screen video displays. The opportunities for our students are many and varied, from sales to administration, project coordination, legislative-regulatory and many other positions. Internships are paid and go from June through December, or January through May.

City Management

Image of city manager

City management is often called “the hottest career you’ve probably never heard of.” What do they do? They handle many of the basic functions that you may have thought were handled by elected officials. However, running a city requires background that a part-time elected official would not have the time or expertise to handle. Eighty-five percent of U.S. cities with populations greater than 2,500 use professional managers. Those are a lot of potential jobs. Moreover, according to the International City/County Management Association, in 1971, 71 percent of professional city, town and county managers were age 40 or younger; 26 percent under age 30. Today, about 13 percent are under 40, and only one percent were age 30 or younger! In short, there are a lot of coming retirements and not many people to fill the void. Brookings City Manager, Jeff Weldon, teaches for us POLS 320 (Public Administration). Weldon himself has a degree in political science, with an Masters in public administration.