NYS Senate Session Internship

Applications for the Spring 2022 NYS Senate Session Assistant Internship Program (UUNI 391) are open! To apply, access the University at Albany Coversheet

Applications will open on Friday, August 27, 2021.
  • Priority Review Deadline: Friday, October 1, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST
  • Final Deadline: Sunday, October 10, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST

This is a TWO part Application Process

Part 1: University at Albany Coversheet begins the process by submitting required information for application including: names and contact information for three letters of reference; transcript release; and Judicial Clearance
Part 2: Application materials upload as listed below. Students will only receive access to Part 2 upon completion of Part 1 of the application process.
 
In order for you application to be reviewed by committee, students are required to complete both Part 1 and Part 2. Failure to do so will result in your application being removed from consideration.

The Senate Session Assistant is assigned research and administrative responsibilities in a Senator's office. The academic component includes a five-day orientation, and each student will complete academic activities and assignments. The Office of Student Programs provides supervision and research advisement and monitors interns' progress throughout the semester.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • University at Albany matriculated undergraduate students
  • Junior standing (at least 56 credits) at the start of the internship
  • Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Students from all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply

APPLICATION MATERIALS:

  • Statement of purpose describing your rationale for applying to the NYS Senate Session Assistant Internship and why you are an ideal candidate
  • Resume
  • Official transcripts of all college/university courses completed and/or in progress.
  • Three (3) letters of reference from individuals who have directly observed the applicant (in school or at work) and can give evaluation in one or more of the following areas: character, research skills, familiarity with public policy issues, understanding of the governmental process, and ability to learn in a work setting. Two of the letters of reference must be written by academic/teaching faculty, with at least one of these being from a University at Albany faculty
  • A concise academic writing sample which provides a clear indication of the student's research and communication abilities
  • Two (2) memoranda
    • Policy proposal
    • Policy rebuttal
Students selected for this internship will earn 15 academic credits, and receive a stipend over the course of the internship (paid bi-weekly).
For more information about the NYS Senate Session Assistant Program, visit their Undergraduate Program website and review the 2022 Undergraduate Internship Brochure

 

Check out the FAQ's below to assist you in submitting the best application possible!

Still have questions? Contact the Campus Liaison Officer, Casey Kohler, via email at [email protected] 

For the Spring 2022 NYS Senate Session Assistant Internship applications will open on Friday, August 27, 2021

There will be several opportunities to learn more in the Fall semester! Join us for any of the Information Sessions, Application Workshops, and Drop-In hours! Register to attend the Information Session and Application Workshops!

All locations are yet to be determined. As soon as rooms are reserved we will provide an update.

If you plan to attend any of the events, we ask that you please RSVP in advance. Check back for RSVP link in August 2021

NYS Legislative Internship Information Sessions:

  • Friday, September 10, 2021 3:00-4:30 PM
  • Wednesday, September 15, 2021 7:30-8:30 PM

Application Workshop:

  • Friday, September 24 3:00-4:30 PM

Check back for information about Drop-In Application Support & Application Appointments to get one-on-one support!

For the 2022 NYS Senate Session Assistant Internship there are TWO (2) deadlines.

  • Priority Review Deadline: Friday, October 1, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST
  • Final Submission Deadline: Sunday, October 10, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST

The Priority Review Deadline allows the NYS Legislative Internship Committee the opportunity to review any fully completed applications early! If during the review process, we notice areas for improvement on your application we will notify you so that you can make updates to you application or materials to strengthen your candidacy. 

There are a few required materials for the NYS Senate Session Assistant Internship:

  • Current (and correct) Contact Information for your three (3) references
  • An Academic Writing Sample
  • Resume (updated and reviewed by Career & Professional Development)
  • Statement of purpose
  • Memorandum and Rebuttal

Other materials that will be requested when you complete the Cover Sheet (Part 1):

  • Judicial Clearance
  • Transcript Release - we'll process your UAlbany transcript for you at no expense!
    • If you attended a previous institution, we can process these transcripts as well - just let us know!
  • Academic Clearance by the Campus Liaison Officer

The most important way to make your application standout is to bring your authentic self to the forefront. When you write, use your own voice and highlight the topics you care about. This is necessary in the statement of purpose/personal statement because it will show the committee who you are and why you would be an excellent candidate for the internship.

Yes. Students must have a Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, but student's that may have a GPA slightly below this should still apply if they believe their GPA will meet the requirement by the end of the Fall semester.

If you still are unsure about your GPA, here are some tips:

  • Speak to other strengths in your personal statement
  • Showcase your experiences in your resume
  • Ask one of your letters of reference to highlight other skills you have

Class standing refers to your class year and is determined by the number of academic credits you have completed. Students selected for the NYS Senate Session Assistant Internship must be a junior or senior standing. This means that you must have successfully completed at least 56 credits. Exceptions have been made exceptional sophomore students, but this is rare. 

If you will have at least 56 credits completed by the end of Fall 2021, you should apply with little hesitation.

A letter of reference allows the committee to understand who you are as a student, leader, and/or employee. These letters are used to get to know who you are other than what is included on your resume.

For the NYS Senate Session Assistant Internship, you must have three (3) letters of reference for your application to be reviewed. At least two (2) of these letters must come from teaching faculty, with one being from a UAlbany teaching faculty.

Applicants for the NYS Senate Session Assistant Internship must have three (3) letters of reference submitted in order for their application to be reviewed. Two (2) letters must come from teaching faculty, with one of them being a teaching faculty member at the University at Albany.

You should only ask individuals who can provide an evaluation in one or more of the following areas: character, research skills, familiarity with public policy issues, understanding of the governmental process, and ability to learn in a work setting. 

Your letters of reference should support your application for the internship. Here are some additional ideas:

  • Supervisors from on or off campus employment
  • Advisors for clubs or organizations
  • Academic Advisor or Mentor

Letters of reference should not come from:

  • Family members
  • Friends
  • Individuals who do not know you well

You should ask for letters of reference in person or via professional email. Before you list their name and contact information on the application, you should have confirmation that they agree to serve in this capacity.

A few items to also share with them:

  • They will receive an email with instructions on how to upload their letter of reference
    • They will not receive a phone call from a member of the review committee
    • They must provide the letter of reference through the approved upload link - hard copy or email versions will not be accepted
  • Their letter of reference should address one or more of the following in relation to your application: character, research skills, familiarity with public policy issues, understanding of the governmental process, and ability to learn in a work setting. 
  • Letters of reference must be uploaded by 11:59 PM on Sunday, October 10. 
    • We are unable to accept late submissions

Your academic writing sample should represent your best work. Pick a piece that you wrote (no group projects) and polish it up if you think it needs work. If you need support, connect with the Writing Center for assistance.

The paper you submit must demonstrate your research and communication skills and needs to include a Works Cited with accurate in-text citations.

This is essentially a personal statement and should highlight who you are and why you are applying for the NYS Senate Session Assistant Internship. This should be more than a traditional cover letter and should not repeat what is on your resume.

Some tips:

  • Be yourself!
  • Use your own voice
  • Explain why you should be selected
  • Include information about your passions
  • Name drop! Yes, you should include the name of a Senator you want to work with or someone within politics that has inspired you
  • Showcase your personal connection to NYS politics with a specific piece of legislation or law.

Students applying must submit two memoranda - a policy proposal and a policy rebuttal. These can either be for enacted, proposed or new ideas for legislation. These are very important aspects of your application because it showcases you ability to research and write in a clear and concise manner. You must also show that you can articulate points on either side of a policy issue.

Your Policy Proposal and Policy Rebuttal should be included in one document and labeled as Proposal or Rebuttal at the top of the page. Here's a template to help you!

The Policy Proposal: must describe the problem the legislation is trying to solve, what this proposed legislation will do, and the expected outcome if enacted. Be sure to include information that is factual with statistics, data, and/or quotes from reliable source.

The Policy Rebuttal: is an opposition to the policy proposal. You should articulate reasons why the proposal would not create the expected outcomes, highlight unintended consequences, and possible cost versus the benefits.

It is critical to remember - these are not opinion pieces.

Unsure where to begin? Check the types of legislation, visit the New York State Senate Bills and Laws website

Yes! To keep your materials organized and accessible during the review, you must use the following file naming when uploading your materials:

  • LAST NAME_FIRST NAME_Resume
  • LAST NAME_FIRST NAME_Statement of Purpose
  • LAST NAME_FIRST NAME_Academic Writing Sample
  • LAST NAME_FIRST NAME_Memoranda

You are expected to dress, act, and work professionally. This will be a full-time job with an academic component. Remember, you are representing the University at Albany and your peers. As such, you are still accountable to the Student Code of Conduct for all University at Albany students.

 

Interns are anticipated to return to the Capital Region for the internship before the start of Spring 2022 begins - the exact date is yet to be determined.

Interns will receive an orientation, and then begin both the academic and work role associated with the NYS Senate Session Assistant Internship. During this, you will work a traditional 9:00-5:00, Monday-Friday job as part of a NYS Senator's office. The academic portion is scheduled to provide you with the rigor of 15 credits worth of course work outside of the office role you serve.

You may work above and beyond the 9:00-5:00 because this internship occurs during the NYS Budget Session. This is a critical point for NYS Politics, and being part of this provides students with a unique professional experience.

Finally, because of the nature of the internship program, selected interns do not have a traditional "Spring Break" week in March.

Yes. The internship is worth 15 academic credits applied to your Degree Program as S/U grading. 

Students who fail to earn at least a grade equivalent to a C will not pass the internship, and will not receive the 15 academic credits.

To learn more about the academic component for the NYS Senate Session Assistant Internship, review the Legislative Assistant Brochure

The main difference is that each internship serves the respective chamber of NYS government. Students selected for the NYS Senate Session Assistant Internship work within the NYS Senate, while students selected for the NYS Assembly Session Internship work within the NYS Assembly. Additionally, the academic components of the internship will vary based on the chamber.

While both application processes are highly competitive, the NYS Senate Session Assistant Internship is more competitive than the NYS Assembly Session Internship because the Senate accepts (on average) 30 total interns total from all applications received. 

Finally, the application requirements vary between the NYS Senate and NYS Assembly.

Students are strongly encouraged to apply to both the NYS Senate Session Assistant and NYS Assembly Session Internship programs if they meet the requirements.

Learn more here about the NYS Assembly Session Internship

That's okay! We've all struggled with job applications but just remember that we are here to help and so is Career & Professional Development.

Some tips:

  • Reach out to a peer who has done this internship in the past
    • Don't know anyone? Email [email protected] and we can assist you in connecting with a past intern
  • Schedule a meeting with the Campus Liaison Officer to discuss your questions and any concerns you might have.
  • Schedule a meeting with the Graduate Assistant for the NYS Legislative Internships
  • Attend the Information Sessions, Application Workshops, and other events so we can assist you in your application!

UAlbany students are first reviewed by the NYS Legislative Internship Review Committee. This reviews all submitted materials and provides a recommendation on each application.

Our committee does not select the final interns. The recommendations, along with all application materials for every student from UAlbany are submitted to the NYS Senate Student Programs office for their review and decision. The Campus Liaison Officer advocates for all UAlbany applicants no matter the recommendation of the committee.

The University at Albany formed the NYS Legislative Internship Committee which is comprised of faculty and professional staff from across the university community. The membership rotates annually to allow new members to engage in this critical role.

All students can contact the Campus Liaison Officer, Casey Kohler, and the NYS Legislative Internship Graduate Assistant, Stevie Hunter by emailing [email protected] 

You can schedule a one-on-one 30 minute meeting to discuss more questions if needed:

To meet with Casey Kohler

To meet with Stevie Hunter

Possibly. When applications are reviewed by the NYS Legislative Internship Committee, they will determine if an interview is necessary to move your application forward.

These interviews are 20-minutes long, and will provide the committee with more information to submit the highest quality recommendation to the NYS Senate Student Programs Director for your candidacy.

No! Students from all majors are encouraged to apply! This is because the NYS Senate has committees, task forces, and other groups that align with nearly all UAlbany majors.

The NYS Senate Session Assistant Internship is an amazing opportunity that will provide you with a professional experience no matter what field you go into!

The Campus Liaison Officer and the Committee will send emails with updates throughout the process. 

It is strongly recommended that all applicants register for Spring 2022 courses as if they have not been selected for the internship. This will ensure that you are not blocked out of any courses that would be needed to graduate.