White House Internship Application Essay Questions

How should I respond to the essay questions?

Each of the essay questions should be answered separately. Each response should be no more than 500 words in length. Do not exceed the word limit.

How long should my resume be and what should it include?

Your resume should be no longer than one page and should include at least your education, work experience, extracurricular activities, and service experiences.

Will I be penalized if my recommendation is sent in late?

Yes. All application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be submitted on or before the corresponding application deadline. Letters of recommendation will not be accepted after the due date. Your application will still be reviewed, but you will be penalized for your missing letters of recommendation.

Who should write a letter of recommendation on my behalf?
The White House Internship Program cannot recommend who should write a letter of recommendation on your behalf. However, we encourage you to find individuals who can illustrate your qualifications, character, and commitment to public service.

Do you have to be a U.S. citizen to apply?

Yes. In order to be eligible for the White House Internship Program you must be a United States citizen.

Do you have to be in college to apply?

No. Current undergraduate students are NOT the only eligible applicants.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, 18 years of age on or before the first day of the internship, and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a college, community college, or university (two-to-four year institution)
  • Graduated from an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a college, community college, or university (two-to-four year institution) no more than two years before the first day of the internship
  • A veteran of the United States Armed Forces who possesses a high school diploma or its equivalent and has served on active duty, for any length of time, in the two years preceding the first day of the internship

Can I mail a hard copy of my application?

No. We cannot accept hard copies of applications. Only applications submitted via our website will be reviewed.

Is the White House Internship a paid position?

The White House Internship is unpaid. Applicants are encouraged to contact educational institutions and other non-profit organizations to apply for assistance as needed. Any outside income, funding or housing assistance received as a White House intern must be pre-approved by the Office of the White House Counsel.

Is housing provided?

No. Applicants must arrange for their own housing. Applicants are encouraged to contact educational and other non-profit organizations as well as local schools to apply for housing assistance.

My school is on the quarter system. Can I still participate?

Yes. You are welcome to apply, as long as you can commit to the full term of the internship program.

Is the White House Internship Program a full-time internship?

Yes. Applicants should expect to work at least Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM.

Some exceptions will be made for applicants with class or program requirements, but interns must work 4.5 days a week in order to be considered full-time interns. For example, an intern may leave at 1:00 p.m. or later one day per week, if appropriate. If you require a schedule accommodation of this kind, please make mention of this if/when you are interviewed by a member of the White House Internship Team.

To whom should the letters of recommendation be addressed?

"To Whom It May Concern" or "White House Internship Reviewing Committee."

Is political preference a deciding factor in the application review process?

No. It is essential, however, that applicants are dedicated to the ideals and mission of the White House Internship Program.

How many people apply for the internship program?

The White House Internship Program is highly competitive and we are experiencing great enthusiasm this year. Applicants are encouraged to submit a thorough application that illustrates your qualifications and commitment to public service.

As a White House Intern, where will I work?

For a full list of internship placement offices, please visit obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/about/internships/departments

The Trump administration is now accepting applications for its first round of interns, who will start on Sept. 6 and work until Dec. 6. The full-time positions are open to college students, college graduates, or military veterans age 18 or over, as long as they are willing to work from 9am until 6pm Monday until Friday. The positions historically have been unpaid, despite pressure in recent years to provide a salary.

Intern assignments “could include: conducting research, managing incoming inquiries, attending meetings, writing memos, and staffing events,” the White House says. Students from either two-year or four-year colleges are welcome to apply, and candidates should show leadership, dedication to public service, and a commitment to the “mission of the Trump administration.”

Applicants are asked to supply basic personal information, list their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat accounts, and answer a series of questions that include:

  • Which Trump cabinet member do you most admire, and why?
  • For what do you hope to be remembered?
  • What do you view as the most significant achievement of the Trump Administration thus far?

The application also includes an essay question:

In no more than 400 words, please write a professional policy memorandum for a senior staffer giving a recommendation for a change to a specific policy that is already in place, to include an explanation of why the proposed change would be beneficial to the American people.

Applicants can propose they receive “outside funding” for their work, the application says, but the source and the amount of that payment must be approved. The White House intern program dates back decades, and has traditionally accepted hundreds of applicants per president for the summer, fall, and spring terms.

Applications for this fall must be completed before midnight on June 17.

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