The Women’s Center’s internship program is a selective engaged scholarship opportunity in social justice advocacy. In this learning and leadership opportunity, classroom study is combined with working on one of several teams at the Women’s Center under the guidance of a member of our staff. The practical experience that our interns gain during the academic year provides a context in which they can better understand their coursework and a foundation upon which they can build careers in a variety of fields.

Women’s Center Internship Program Components

  • Service on a specific Women’s Center program’s intern team for a full academic year (required) 
    • each program’s intern team meets weekly for one hour, and
    • interns commit to spending, on average, another five hours per week engaged Women’s Center activities, including:
      • carrying out the work of their own Women’s Center program’s intern team
      • attending events hosted by the Women’s Center
      • attending events hosted by the center’s other internship teams, or
      • supporting the work of the other Women’s Center programs’ intern teams
  • Enrollment in Front Lines of Social Change course (3 credit) in the fall semester (required)
  • Enrollment in Front Lines of Social Change II course (1 credit) in the spring semester (required)

Women’s Center Programs on which Intern Teams Work

NEW OPPORTUNITY: Women’s Center Director’s Intern 

This Intern will work with the Director of the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center on developing event(s) for the Director’s Initiative, conducting research, and (if desired) creating special programming of her/his design. In Fall 2017, this will include work on the International Women’s Forum (October 2017). Preference will be given to a returning intern.

Our Internships Lead Students to Interesting Places

You can find alumni of our internship program working in a wide variety of fields and we update you on them through spotlights on our blog from time to time. Several are serving in high schools around that state with the Virginia College Advising Corps, some are in major metropolitan centers with youth development programs like Urban Initiatives, and others are logging a lot of miles on their frequent flier cards with national advocacy organizations or worldwide consulting firms. We also survey current Women’s Center interns in an ongoing effort to align our implementation of the internship program with our goals for this engaged scholarship experience and with students’ expectations. Interns say they gained skills that are valuable for their careers and their community service such as:

  • taking initiative
  • leadership skills
  • communicating effectively
  • compromising in ways that bring progress toward a team goal
  • working efficiently with others
  • writing
  • being organized
  • stepping outside of my comfort zone
  • collaborating to achieve a social good
  • engaging deeply with team members’ ideas
  • being accountable
  • working with deadlines
  • event planning
  • listening to different voices and doing so often
  • presentation skills
  • empathy
  • understanding social justice issues well and being able to articulate them to people who are unfamiliar with them
  • patience
  • outreach skills
  • confidence standing up when I see or hear something that is wrong or perpetuates toxic concepts
  • interpersonal skills

Annual Application Process for the Women’s Center Internship Program

If you are interested in applying for the Women’s Center Internship Program, plan ahead to apply in the spring to participate in the program the following academic year. If you are accepted for a position serving as a member of a specific Women’s Center program’s intern team, you will need to include our Front Lines of Social Change fall course in your schedule during course selection. The application period for Women’s Center internships opens in late January or early February each year and closes on March 1st. Women’s Center staff members from each program review the applications for their intern team and invite a number of applicants to interview. Following the interviews, selected students are offered internship positions contingent upon students’ enrollment in our fall Front Lines of Social Change course. Should an accepted student be unable to enroll in the required course, the space on an internship team will be offered to another candidate.

Opportunities for Continued Leadership

Students have the opportunity to continue their work with the Women’s Center beyond their year interning, as a senior intern with many of our programs. For Iris Magazine, interns have the opportunity to continue on as Assistant Editor, working closely with the Editor to manage the incoming group of writers.