Internship FAQ

What is the window of time the application is open?

We will not be launching an internship application for either a summer or fall term in 2019. Please continue to check our website for updates.

Can I still apply even though I missed the deadline?

No. We will not review late or incomplete applications.

What is the time commitment?

The spring internship will run from January 7, 2019 to May 10, 2019. It will run for 18 weeks, and we will only accept interns who can commit full-time to the Foundation during normal business hours throughout their internship. If this changes at any point between when you are accepted and the conclusion of the term, you will not be permitted to continue your time.

If you are applying for the Summer 2019 legal internship, the time commitment will be May 28, 2019 to August 16, 2019.

Can I apply if my school operates on a quarter system?

There is only one set of internship dates for the Spring 2019 term (January 7, 2019 to May 10, 2019). These dates typically do not work for students on a quarter system. However, if you are able to make arrangements to commit full time for these dates, you are welcome to apply.

When will I hear back?

Notifications will begin at the end of October and will run through mid-November.

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 modest $3,000 stipend to offset some of the expenses incurred to participate in the internship program.

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 we 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 off-campus within the United States. The Foundation is not able to assist with securing work visas or permits at this time.

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 though an intern might be hired, interns are not guaranteed 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 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?

No. 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 hold 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 answered 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.

Termination of Internship

The Foundation reserves the right to terminate an intern if they do not adhere to our workplace policies.


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]

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 letters, social media, web copy, and internal memos
  • Assist in the management of Foundation merchandise inventory and other collateral, as needed

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

Finance [Chicago]

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

Office of the General Counsel [Washington, D.C.]

The intern in the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) will support both the Research and Legal Teams, and help the 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, the writing and communications skills to create robust but digestible reporting on their work, and strong attention to detail.

OGC 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
  • Assist with the Foundation’s contract process by status tracking and file maintenance, as well as meta-data analysis of Foundation contracts
  • Aid with ad hoc legal projects as needed

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
  • Conduct research and support implementation for supports to MBK Communities across the country

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