Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the application open?
The application opened on April 23, 2018 at 9AM CT and closed on May 14, 2018 at 5PM CT.
Can I still apply even though I missed the deadline?
We will not review late or incomplete applications.
What is the time commitment?
The fall internship will run from September 4, 2018 to December 7, 2018. It will run for 14 weeks, and we will only accept interns who can commit full-time to the Foundation during normal business hours throughout their internship. If you are a student on the quarter system, the fall internship will run from September 17, 2018 to December 21, 2018.
If you are applying for the Spring 2019 legal internship, the time commitment will be January 7, 2019 to May 10, 2019.
Can I apply if my school operates on a quarter system?
Yes, the quarter system internship will run from September 17, 2018 to December 21, 2018.
There is only one set of internship dates for the Spring 2019 term (January 7, 2019 to May 10, 2019).
When will I hear back?
Notifications will begin mid-June and will run through mid-July.
Can I apply if I’m not a student?
You must be an undergraduate or graduate student at the time you apply. This includes students at technical, vocational, or trade schools for their post-secondary education. Additionally, you must be at least 18 years of age at the start of the internship.
Is there an age requirement?
Applicants must be at least 18 years old at the start of the internship.
How will I be compensated?
Interns will be provided a $1,500 stipend and will be compensated for up to $1,500 in expenses directly related to the internship, for a total of up to $3,000.
Can I get course credit through the internship?
Many schools do not permit students to receive both a stipend and course credit; however, whenever permissible, we encourage all interns to receive course credit for their work with the Foundation and will assist interns with any requisite paperwork or confirmations.
Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to apply?
You do not need to be a U.S. citizen to apply, but you must be able to legally work within the United States. The Foundation will not assist with securing work visas.
Is English proficiency required?
Yes, interns must be fluent in spoken and written English as all programming will be conducted in English.
Can I send additional materials?
Due to the volume of applications, we cannot review additional materials sent outside of the application form. If you have a specific question, please email the Intern program at [email protected].
Will completing the internship help me get a full-time job at the Foundation?
The internship is a termed opportunity to develop workplace skills and learn more about the work of the Foundation. It is not a job interview, and interns are not entitled to full-time employment at the internship’s conclusion.
What is included in the internship?
- Interns will be exposed to a fast-paced, high-impact environment where they will get to work closely with Foundation staff who are doing everything they can to inspire and meet people where they are.
- Each intern will be placed with a supervisor who will act as their mentor at the organization and provide relevant feedback to them throughout the course of the term.
- Interns will be invited to weekly all-staff meetings so they can stay up-to-date on activities across the organization.
- Throughout the course of the term, interns will be invited to participate in brown bag lunches and presentations to learn more about the career paths and trajectories of Foundation staff.
Can I save my responses on the application and return to submit the application later?
You must submit your complete application all at once. We encourage you to download the Application Worksheet to keep track of your responses if you need more than one session to draft your responses. Please make sure you submit your application before the deadline. We will not review late applications.
Do I need to belong to a particular political affiliation to apply?
No. The Foundation is a non-partisan organization and complies with all applicable regulations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, including not engaging in political activity. Further, this internship is guided by the values held by President Obama and Mrs. Obama, including a belief in the importance of reaching across ideological differences to find common ground and pursue innovative approaches to public problems. As such, we’re looking for interns who will bring a diverse set of perspectives.
Is your question not here? Feel free to email [email protected]. We’ll try to get back to you as soon as we can.
Terms and Conditions
When you submit your application materials, you affirm that the information presented therein is accurate to the best of your knowledge. Applications are subject to additional research, reference checks, and vetting.
Selection at the Discretion of the Foundation
The Foundation shall select, at its sole, absolute and unreviewable discretion, those applicants selected to advance in the Internship selection process.
Applicant acknowledges that the Foundation shall have no obligation to treat any information submitted in or in connection with the Internship application as proprietary or confidential. By the submission of an Internship application, applicant thereby grants to the Foundation an unrestricted right to use all or portions of the response, including all materials and/or accompanying information submitted therewith, as it considers necessary or desirable in connection with the Internship.
The Foundation does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, parental status, veteran status, military discharge status, citizenship status or source of income or any other protected status. We encourage individuals from all backgrounds to apply for this opportunity.
Attendance for the internship term is mandatory.
Throughout their time at the White House, President Obama and Mrs. Obama were committed to hearing people’s stories and perspectives. The Correspondence team works to carry forward this mission by monitoring and participating in interactions between the Foundation and the public.
Correspondence interns should be good stewards of the perspectives they come across. Interns will be expected to:
- Help manage a large digital database that tracks correspondence as it comes in through our website
- Create weekly reports that help the Foundation understand what people are saying
- Draft letters in response to incoming correspondence
Development [Chicago and Washington, D.C.]
The mission of the Development team is to secure the funds necessary to support the design, construction and operation of the Obama Presidential Center, as well as to financially sustain the Foundation and its programs.
Development interns should be clear, proactive communicators with exceptional attention to detail. Interns will be expected to:
- Assist in the drafting, editing, researching, and production of prospect research, grant applications, briefing materials, and development communications materials such as presentations, newsletters, emails, and other reports and donor collateral
- Assist with event preparation and execution as well as data entry and management
- Assist with short- and long-term research projects and other special projects
Digital [Chicago and Washington, D.C.]
From producing cutting-edge digital content to amplifying the Foundation’s programming on a variety of media platforms, the Digital team is committed to connecting, inspiring, and empowering people to change their world.
Digital interns should be creative, exceptionally detail-oriented, and efficient multi-taskers, with a passion for storytelling and reaching a global online audience. Interns will be expected to:
- Manage user submission review process and monitor online donation requests and inquiries
- Select submissions to be featured on our website, social channels, or video pieces
- Draft web copy and internal memos
Experience [Washington, D.C.]
In order to achieve our mission of inspiring and empowering people to change their world, our workplace experience must be just that: inspiring and empowering. The Experience team integrates the People, IT, and Operations functions at the Foundation to ensure that our staff members are engaged and successful and that the Obama Foundation is known as a great place to work.
Experience interns play a key role in the development and execution of new policies and processes for Foundation staff. Interns will be expected to:
- Work with different teams to provide administrative support, including research and data and information maintenance
- Set and maintain a high bar for excellent customer service and relationship building
- Be extremely detail-oriented and motivated by the idea that success comes through making the team successful
The Finance team serves to maximize the impact and promote stewardship of the Foundation’s fiscal resources via inclusive partnerships, budget management, revenue and expenditure forecasting, and financial reporting and governance.
Finance interns should be analytically-minded with strong communication skills that engender cross-functional collaboration. Interns will be expected to:
- Display strong analytical capabilities to manipulate and display quantitative and qualitative data, particularly in spreadsheets and slide presentations
- Leverage independent investigation and input from meetings to generate work product for senior Foundation staff and the Board
- Set and maintain a high bar for teamwork and relationship-building
International [Washington, D.C.]
The International team works to create networks and programs that empower emerging young leaders around the world by connecting them to platforms, resources and each other in ways that catalyze positive change.
International interns should be detailed oriented, responsive, organized, and team players. Interns will be expected to:
- Provide administrative and programmatic support for the team, including being responsible for meeting preparation, arranging travel, processing expense reimbursements, managing contacts, and handling correspondence, among other responsibilities.
- Participate in short-term projects such as assisting in the sourcing of event participants and drafting memos for events.
Office of the CEO [Chicago]
The Office of the CEO is responsible for the strategic vision of the Obama Foundation and the management of the CEO’s internal and external responsibilities, including Foundation-wide cross-functional work.
Office of the CEO interns should be extremely detail-oriented and motivated by the idea that success comes through making the team successful. Interns will be expected to:
- Assist with writing, editing, researching, and compiling briefing materials for Foundation staffers
- Work with different teams to provide administrative and event support, including research and data management and maintenance
- Set and maintain a high bar for excellent customer service
Office of the Executive Director [Chicago]
From providing analysis and strategy for the future Obama Presidential Center (OPC) to developing the Foundation’s operating budget, this team works to advance the Executive Director’s portfolio, which includes the Museum, Real Estate, and Finance teams’ work-streams.
The Executive Director’s interns play a key role in the synthesis of projects related to the OPC, as well as the Foundation’s operating budget, and must have strong communication skills, both written and verbal. Interns will be expected to:
- Demonstrate the ability to quickly and accurately absorb new information, and to capture important details from meetings and independent research and generate analysis and work products for the review of senior Foundation staff
- Possess strong analytical skills in order to process and display qualitative and quantitative data—especially in the form of memos, spreadsheets, and slide decks
- Set and maintain a high bar for teamwork and relationship building
Program [Chicago and Washington, D.C.]
The Program team designs and implements initiatives to inspire, equip, and connect the next generation of civic leaders. Some examples of programs include the Obama Foundation Fellows Program, the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, and our online and in-person civic education trainings.
Program interns play a key role in the development and execution of key Foundation efforts. Interns will be expected to:
- Design and test civic engagement pilot projects
- Conduct research on civic engagement programs and policies around the country
- Conduct outreach to potential program participants and partners
- Provide team-wide operations support, including helping prepare materials for senior leadership, planning major team retreats, and handling day-to-day administrative tasks
Public Engagement [Chicago]
Chicago is not only the place that President and Mrs. Obama met and raised their family — it’s also the site of the future Obama Presidential Center. This team aims to engage community members and civic leaders across the city to make Chicago a model and laboratory for the most innovative approaches to citizen engagement.
Public Engagement interns will play an integral role in the Foundation’s ongoing engagement strategy centered around the Southside of Chicago. Interns will be expected to:
- Assist the team with the planning and execution of community focused events
- Work with our Community Organizer to collect feedback from door to door canvassing and other outreach methods
- Assist with contact and data management within Salesforce
- Draft memos and other collateral as needed
Real Estate [Chicago]
The Real Estate team’s mission is to plan, design, and construct an innovative and inspiring world-class home for the Foundation, its museum, and its programs. They are tasked with completing the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park.
Real Estate interns play a role in the development and implementation of team efforts. Interns will be expected to:
- Assist in the gathering, analysis, and written communication of project data for memorandums and slide deck presentations
- Facilitate coordination of Real Estate project documentation (building models, image boards, drawings) with other Foundation teams for their use
- Provide team-wide project management support, including helping prepare materials for senior leadership, planning and support of stakeholder meetings, and handling day-to-day administrative tasks
Research [Washington, D.C.]
The Research team supports the entire Foundation by vetting, fact-checking, and supporting each team’s work to ensure the Foundation’s partners, events, and programs live up to our values. Interns should have the curiosity and pride in their work to pursue research questions to their fullest extent, and the writing and communications skills to create robust but digestible reporting on their work.
Research interns should have exceptional attention to detail, and should exhibit integrity as they refuse to cut corners on a substantial and detail-oriented workload. Interns will be expected to:
- Research and vet potential partners as the Foundation grows
- Manage the team’s internal workflow and tracking process to ensure that the Foundation’s needs are being met
- Draft and complete vetting reports to share with all Foundation teams.