PICS Organization Name
Washington, District of Columbia
Public Transportation Available
Caleb Visser '20, Vanessa Moore '20
Veterans Campaign is a non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage, mentor and prepare military veterans to pursue a "second service" in civic leadership.
Our programs vary in breadth and depth, from being a resource to veterans and transitioning service members interested in public service to hosting networking events to convening workshops to selecting and training 20 "Second Service Fellows" as part of our multi-year Graduate Fellowship program. Additionally, we conduct quantitative and qualitative research on veterans in politics and civic service, culminating in our guidebooks for aspiring veteran leaders and biennial reports on veterans in civic and political leadership (which we're proud to say have been recognized in over 50 major media outlets).
Most of the work of these programs is done by several hundred volunteer instructors and mentors, such as current and former elected officials, senior government administration officials, civil servants, civic leaders, political professionals, defense leaders, etc. Our job as the staff is to support their efforts, organize events and build new programs, conduct research, and take care of fundraising and business concerns.
As an organization founded by students at Princeton who learned how to run a business the hard way but benefitted tremendously from the support of the Princeton community, we have always sought to include the next generation of student social entrepreneurs in our work. We hope to both inspire and guide student leaders to carry on our belief in promoting public service and social entrepreneurship in their own pursuits, as well as to give back to the Princeton community. Indeed, our internship program is quite literally classified as a "program" within our organization--their personal and professional development is a priority for our staff and our community of supporters. Moreover, we have found that investing in aspiring student leaders can be tremendously beneficial to our community--without exception, our past 20 Princeton interns and staff, as well as 5 "Princeterns", have exceeded expectations and made meaningful contributions to our projects and community.
Please note that you may apply to each of the following positions with a single PICS organization selection, however you must write a separate cover letter for each position for which you would like to be considered. Include all cover letters for this organization in ONE pdf document.
Position: Research Assistant
(Communications/ Education/ Government/ Public Administration/ Public Policy/ Social Services)
Responsibilities for all interns will ultimately be decided based on a student's interests, however past Research Assistants have focused on one or two quantitative or qualitative research project being conducted by the organization or one of our research collaborations. All past research assistants have been able to publish their work in academic journals or popular press, so this is an especially relevant opportunity to students interested in working in academia, think tanks, public policy, journalism, or communications.
Potential projects include:
- building and reconciling data sets about veterans in politics, interviewing elected officials and candidates, and writing reports about trends and notable conclusions
- preparing conference presentations and qualitative assessments for aspiring public servants, academic researchers, media, and internal program improvements
- building and reconciling data sets, conducting interviews, and preparing reports about civil service, community service, and civic leadership
- researching the policy implications of various demographics in civic and political leadership, especially relating to foreign affairs, national security, and 'civic leadership mobility' (i.e. why and how do aspiring public servants succeed or fail in their efforts to take leadership in their communities, causes, and national government and organizations).
- communications projects to increase awareness and inform wider audiences about existing research and data (ex: translating reports into infographics, PR campaigns, messaging campaigns, multi-media presentations, web pages, and conference presentations).
Typically research assistants have tended to specialize in either quantitive (i.e. data-focused) projects, qualitative projects (i.e. writing reports, guides, and presentations), communicating either type of research, or all of the above within a specific research topic. You will be given a significant amount of latitude to pursue your interests and the opportunity to grow into positions of higher responsibility.
Position: Outreach Associate
(Business Development/ Communications/ Community Development/ Education/ Government/ Public Administration/ Public Policy/ Social Services)
Responsibilities for all interns will ultimately be decided based on a student's interests, however past Outreach Associates have mostly assisted the External Relations Director in managing relationships with our constituents, planning events, and coordinating projects. In rough order of frequency, you can expect to interact with:
- transitioning service members, veterans, military spouses, and affiliated parties exploring how to pursue a career in public service
- candidates or potential future candidates for elected office
- mentors (i.e. current and former distinguished public servants) to our constituents
- partner organizations (public service and leadership initiatives, veterans organizations, government agencies, political parties, affinity groups, think tanks, academic and research projects, and a variety of social and civic enterprises)
- instructors and speakers at upcoming events
- people interested in our research
You will have templates to work off of and the rest of the staff to guide you, but we pride ourselves on maintaining a personal touch, so you will be expected to have strong communications skills, as well as a high level of confidence and motivation. You will also be expected to learn some of the basics of common enterprise software, such as our customer relationship management platform, project management software, email marketing apps, and social media in a business context. Depending on your interests, you will also assist in the planning and execution of events, such as professional development workshops, networking receptions, our monthly Distinguished Speaker Series, our women's leadership collaborative, or research symposiums.
This position will provide an opportunity to build the skills and network for students interested in public service (especially in government, foreign affairs, nonprofits, advocacy, social entrepreneurship, or the military), founding or managing a consumer-focused start-up, education, communications, or sales/business development. It will also provide students who aren't sure what their aspirations are the opportunity to learn about a variety of different jobs. You will be given a significant amount of latitude to pursue your interests and the opportunity to grow into positions of higher responsibility. So far we have a 100% post-graduation job placement rate with our 18 past Princeton interns (including some who have gone on to full-time positions here), so this is also a good stepping stone to a position in any of the industries listed above.
Position: Women Veterans Leadership Collaborative Coordinator
(Communications/ Community Development/ Education/ Government/ Public Administration/ Public Policy/ Social Services)
Responsibilities for all interns will ultimately be decided based on a student's interests, however several past interns have specifically been interested in working on our Women Veterans Leadership Collaborative. This initiative seeks to provide professional development, networking opportunities, and tailored educational resources to our community of women veterans; as such, it also spans of our programs (mentorship, workshops, professional development, research, and the Second Service Fellowship). Your duties would include curating our community of women veteran leaders, planning and executing events, planning and executing special supplemental programming for women veterans, and/or conducting research specifically on women veterans in public service.
You will have templates to work off of and the rest of the staff to guide you, but we pride ourselves on maintaining a personal touch, so you will be expected to have strong communications and interpersonal skills, as well as a high level of confidence and creativity. You will also be expected to learn some of the basics of common enterprise software, such as our customer relationship management platform, project management software, email marketing apps, and social media in a business context. Depending on your interests, interns will also be given the opportunity to assist with other programs or pursue additional projects.
This position will provide an opportunity to build the skills and network for women interested in public service (especially in government, foreign affairs, nonprofits, advocacy, social entrepreneurship, or the military), coordinating large, dispersed teams, education, education, communications, or sales/business development. It will also provide students who aren't sure what their aspirations are the opportunity to learn about a variety of different jobs. Those students who are interested in conducting independent work in college (ex: JPs, senior theses) will also find this to be a valuable foundation in the topics ofwomen's leadership, gender issues, defense, public service, or civic leadership.
Applicants will be expected to have strong interpersonal and/or written communications skills, to have demonstrated initiative and intellectual curiosity in past endeavors, and to have demonstrated an ability to adapt quickly in a fast-pace, quickly evolving environment.
A passion for public service and our mission of expanding opportunity for aspiring leaders is a must. Otherwise, smart, motivated students will be taught the necessary skills for their positions (as well as future interests and aspirations).
Students with a background or interest in public service, politics, civic leadership, national security, foreign affairs, and defense are preferred. Students skilled in communications/PR, marketing, project management, research, technology, and/or event planning will be given special consideration, however numerous past interns have been successful in their positions and satisfied with their internship experience without any of these skills or past experiences. Interns who demonstrate initiative, creativity, vision, and figure out how to solve challenges will be given a high degree of trust and opportunities for advancement.
June - August
Meets Certificate Requirement
Past interns have often opted for housing in nearby GWU or Georgetown student dormitories/suites, shared a summer sublet of a house with fellow interns, or stayed with alumni or family friends/relatives. We will certainly help interns with their housing search and have always been able to arrange several housing options for them to choose from, if desired.
As a student-founded organization, we hope students will take advantage of the opportunities provided by our network which have been so beneficial to our own personal development, as well as the extensive offerings for summer interns in D.C., such as the Princeton-in-Washington program offerings.
Before the internship starts, we'll schedule a meeting or call with you to discuss your interests and aspirations as a student at Princeton, for the summer, and for post-graduation life and come up with a list of goals and opportunities for the summer. Part of your job will be to pursue these goals and take advantage of these opportunities, even if they differ from your normal day-to-day projects.
For example, a large part of what we do is connect aspiring leaders with distinguished public servants--you will be afforded the time and opportunity to meet with a variety of role models to learn from their experiences and start building relationships with a few mentors. Similarly, we are involved with or are invited to attend a number of events, conferences, and programs--while interns are not required to take advantage of these opportunities, we're looking for students who would be interested in doing so.
My best work experience this summer was the research component of my internship. I dove into it and made it my independent summer project, which was incredibly rewarding. It offered a new challenge to me, and allowed me to learn and grow in a subject area that interests me while serving others.
—Caleb Visser '20
I had a fabulous time working at Veterans Campaign. I was able to work on many different tasks, and got a sense of all three main projects happening at once. Norm and Seth are great supervisors, and I was able to work and feel helpful.
—Vanessa Moore '20