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Mazie Hirono and Chelsea Cobb

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa graduate Chelsea Cobb received a full-time, paid internship in the office of Hawaiʻi U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono in the spring 2016 semester. She now works in the Washington D.C. office of Hawaiʻi U.S. Senator Brian Schatz as a legislative correspondent.

“It’s a crazy, awesome opportunity for Hawaiʻi kids to get to do this,” said Cobb, who graduated from UH Mānoa in 2016 after graduating from Island Pacific Academy in 2012. She credits the Mānoa Political Internships program for her position at Schatzʻs office.

The internships offer a rare opportunity to gain experience in the inner workings of state and federal government and contribute.

“The target students are often thought of as political science students, but in fact, we have students from all over the social sciences, family studies in CTAHR, history, philosophy, English, social work and occasionally biology,” said Lawrence Nitz, director of the Mānoa Political Internships program. “There is no discipline at Mānoa that is not affected by both federal and state legislation.”

Cobb says her time in Senator Hironoʻs office was invaluable.

“I had a really positive experience and I learned a lot about the legislative process in general.” said Cobb. “I learned how complex the issues are here in Hawaiʻi and throughout the country. I learned that one person can really improve the lives of people.”

Accepting applications

The Mānoa Political Internships program is now accepting applications for the spring 2019 semester for 20 full-time, paid internships at the U.S. Congress, offices of the Hawaiʻi Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Hawaiʻi Judicial system and the Hawaiʻi State Legislature. Seniors, juniors and sophomores, who will have junior standing in spring 2019, are eligible to apply. The deadline for applications is October 15, 2018 with the interviews beginning the following week.

In the spring 2019 semester, there are four internships in D.C. congressional offices, positions in the Public Defender and Honolulu Prosecutor’s offices, a position in the Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s offices and 10 positions in the state Legislature. On a part-time basis, four internships in Honolulu congressional offices carry a small stipend. The full-time D.C. internships cover tuition, housing and transportation. The full-time local internships cover tuition and some incidentals.

For more information visit the Mānoa Political Internships website or contact Kai Noa Lilly the Mānoa Political Internship coordinator at (808) 956-7858 or lilly@hawaii.edu and Lawrence Nitz at (808) 956-8665 or lnitz@hawaii.edu

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