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    Intern Rock Star, Rosalie, Reflects on RTV

    Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

    Finding an internship on Twitter was not what I expected to happen. But I knew that Rock the Vote (RTV) would be a unique place to intern. Communication happened rather quickly and following two phone interviews then I had a face to face interview. Once I made it in for the interview I was pumped. The internship called for a variety of tasks from dealing with RTV merchandise, Election Day help, and blogging! I have never blogged for a professional cause before and found that experience rewarding and fun.

    I wrote my first blog about being from Virginia, a state that was holding gubernatorial elections on November 5. I also shared a little about my college experience at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, as well as the excitement I felt for Election Day. Getting to share the importance of voting in this 2013 election, and inspiring young voters to get out there and rock the vote was extremely gratifying. In addition to blogging, I enjoyed helping with pre-election day work such as calling volunteers to come out and ‘Rock the Calls”. Rock the Calls was an effort to call to the attention of young registered voters, through phone banking, that Nov. 5 was an important day to vote. We decked out the office with streamers, confetti, and plenty of snacks to fuel the phone banking effort which were carried out over the week leading up to Nov. 5.

    Calling Virginia voters and reminding them to vote was a really cool process. I enjoyed seeing all the different area codes from Virginia show up on my list of names to call! In addition to calling a bunch of fellow Virginians I enjoyed talking to the enthusiastic young voters who were already sure of where they would be going to vote and what time. I also spoke to people who had already voted absentee. The value of Rock the Calls lies in putting a voice to the importance of voting. Voting is the pinnacle of Democracy. Getting to work with a team of interns has been fun, and engaging. I have learned a lot about myself as well as how to get people excited about the political process. I have fond memories of my internship at Rock the Vote, it was short but I was happy to intern here.

    Bio: A native Virginian, I have been voting since it was legally possible for me to do so. Intern here at Rock the Vote and interested in politics, news, and civic engagement.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    My internship experience

    Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

    I had an awesome time interning at Rock the Vote in Washington D.C. in the development (fundraising) department. While a lot of my work consisted of writing letters, grants, and research reports, I gained valuable insight into the tone and style used when writing about issues concerning politics and government. The internship allowed me to experience the Washington D.C. scene through the lens of a non-profit organization, learning about the sacrifice non-profit workers make to serve others. Moreover, my summer internship allowed me to attend functions and meet people I could never have imagined at the outset of the summer. The team at Rock the Vote is accessible and very open to helping interns with projects; you also see the immense dedication the organization feels for the work it is doing. The level of responsibility given during the internship is also unique: Rock the Vote allows its interns to sit in on all staff meetings and conference calls, providing an opportunity to soak in invaluable knowledge. The highlight of my Rock the Vote experience was phone banking for the Los Angeles mayoral election on May 21st—it was fun to experience the thrill of an election day, while it was awesome to see how much of an impact our call made once the final numbers of young people turnout came in. From both big opportunities to small things, interning at Rock the Vote provides you with awesome opportunities and great experience for your future, no matter your aspirations. Simply put, it is a great place to intern!

    Bio: Tim Odzer is currently studying History and English at Duke University, and interns in the Development Department at Rock the Vote. Originally from Minneapolis, MN Tim is a passionate baseball fan.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    Does it Pay to Intern?

    Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

    This past April, the US Department of Labor released new standards for internships, in particular with specific criteria for unpaid internships.  The new law states that an unpaid internship is fair if it passes a test with six criteria, which can be found here.   With the number of unpaid internships steadily growing as employees cut costs and students eager to gain experience, what does this mean for all of you currently working at an unpaid internship or looking to do one in the future?

    In the Chronicle of Higher Education, some campus officials voiced concerns saying that the new guidelines will scare off long-time employers, diminishing the number of internships available for students.  With tougher stipulations, employers may also feel pressure to make sure their training benefits the intern and thereby only allow internships for those who want to obtain credit.  This logic poses a problem because those who already have to cover their own living costs in order to hold down an unpaid internship now also face tuition costs for obtaining credit for internships.

    Others, including school officials and students , support the new guidelines as a way to make sure employers don’t take advantage of eager and motivated interns as free labor.  To many, past violations—such as having unpaid interns displace regular employees without proper supervision or proper benefits—have made it necessary to issue new rules on intern labor.  The recent internship guidelines can be seen as a way to empower unpaid interns, often rendered voiceless and complaint-less for fear of putting their future career aspirations in jeopardy.  Supporters also point out that the new law increases opportunities for those who can’t afford to work without pay so that they can apply for previously unpaid internships that were more accessible to those who didn’t need to earn money.  All in all, the idea is that these new criteria can ensure that students who have unpaid internships will gain a truly educational experience.

    What do you think? Are these stipulations helpful to interns? Do you have an unpaid internship or do you have plans to look for one?

    Danni Lin

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com