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Excited about state government? Intern with the Office of Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith! This unpaid internship program affords students the opportunity to earn college credits and valuable professional experience. 

College and graduate students may apply. The program is offered year-round. Interns commit to at least 12 hours a week; schedules are flexible between the hours of 9am-5pm, Monday- Friday. 

The Governor’s Office is now accepting applications for Spring 2016. The priority deadline for applications is November 20th. Applications received by this date will receive a response by December 4th. Applications will still be accepted after November 20th. 

It is the policy of the Governor’s Office to ensure that equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion are an integral part of our daily operations and the daily operations of the Minnesota executive branch. The Governor’s Office is committed to recruiting interns that are reflective of the people of Minnesota. The Governor’s Office recognizes that the State of Minnesota can reach its full potential when state government represents the brightest talent from Minnesota’s diverse communities.

Program Descriptions

How to Apply for an Internship

Internship Application form: Download and fill out this form. 
Note: Application form must be saved to computer, not opened in browser, to enter and save text in fields.
  • Cover Letter: Please include a one-page cover letter outlining why you are interested in interning for the Governor's office and the specific department(s) you applied for. 
  • Resume: Please include resume.  
  • Writing Sample: Please include a writing sample that is no longer than four pages double-spaced that you believe to be most pertinent to the department you are applying for. Those applying to the Communications Department should submit two writing samples.

Note: You may apply in more than one department, ranking your preference of department with 1 being the most desirable.

Application Instructions
Interested applicants should e-mail, mail or fax a completed Internship Application form, cover letter, resume and writing sample to Madelyn Nelson:

Madelyn Nelson 
116 Veterans Service Building
20 W 12th Street
St. Paul, MN 55155
FAX: 651-797-1901 


  Public Engagement and Constituent Services

The Public Engagement and Constituent Services Department of Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith is seeking dedicated, intelligent, and hardworking interns with a strong interest in public service.

The Constituent Services Department works to ensure that the Governor’s Office is accessible to the people of Minnesota. The Constituent Outreach staff provides personal assistance for constituent questions, comments, requests and concerns. The work of the Constituent Services Department helps maintain a strong relationship between the Governor’s office and the community.   This department also handles all gubernatorial appointments to boards, commissions and judicial appointments.  

Duties include assisting the department with daily operations such as: answering the phone and returning messages from constituents, drafting letters, mail intake, and other administrative tasks.  

Successful applicants will have:

  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Professional written and verbal communication skills
  • The ability to think on your feet
  • A strong attention to detail

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  Diversity and Inclusion

The Director of Diversity and Inclusion is seeking a highly-motivated, professional intern with a demonstrated interest in advancing diversity and inclusion in state government and elsewhere.  

In 2015, Governor Dayton created the Diversity and Inclusion Department in his office to provide support and training for state agencies in an effort to diversify the state’s workforce and actively encourage a more inclusive state government that reflects the people it serves.  Interns in this department support this work and have the opportunity to be a part of exciting, new initiatives and collaborations at the state level.

Primary Duties include supporting the Director through daily task management, assisting with outreach to agencies, organizations, and community advocates; analyzing data, providing research and other requested information.  Depending on the time of year, interns may have the opportunity to work on the Governor’s Council on the Martin Luther King Day Celebration.

Successful applicants will have:

  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills
  • Experience and/or education in subjects related to diversity
  • Knowledge of state government
  • A strong work-ethic

There are limited positions available for this internship. Generally, 1-2 interns are accepted each cycle.

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The Scheduling Department for the Office of Governor Mark Dayton is seeking organized, motivated, and professional interns to assist the Governor’s and Lieutenant Governor’s Schedulers. 

Primary duties include tracking event requests, following up with constituents, creating event memos, working closely with the Governor’s and Lt. Governor’s Schedulers to help manage the Governor’s schedule, and various other tasks as needed. 

Successful applicants will have:

  • The ability to work independently
  • A strong attention to detail
  • Strong verbal skills
  • Basic computer skills (knowledge of Microsoft Access preferred, but not required)

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The Office of Governor Mark Dayton’s communications internship provides students with a robust education experience using new and traditional communications platforms. Interns will have an opportunity to interact with policy makers and communications staff in the Governor and Lt. Governor’s office and help communicate Governor Dayton’s policy agenda to Minnesotans across the state. 

Duties include assisting communications staff with daily operations, such as research, creating digital content including blogs and other social media projects, staffing press events with the governor, and other administrative tasks. 

Interns will take part in communications activities that will expand their knowledge of policy and communications tactics at the highest level of state government. 

Successful applicants will have:

  • Strong writing skills
  • Strong research skills
  • Professional communication skills.

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  Legislative and Cabinet Affairs  

The Legislative and Cabinet Affairs Department in the Office of Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith is seeking interns interested in public policy.  This Department works to advance the policy agenda of Governor Dayton and provides support to the Governor and executive branch agencies.  

Duties vary heavily by season and can change daily, especially if the Legislature is in session. Duties may include: note-taking during public committee or on the Senate or House floor, researching policies, tracking legislations, administrative and operational tasks, and preparing memos and briefs for the Governor and Policy Advisors.

Successful applicants will have:

  • A strong work ethic
  • An ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong writing and research skills
  • A general understanding of the Executive Branch and state legislative process

Applicants should include in their cover letter what they hope to gain from their internship. Applicants may also include any policy issues on which they would like to focus.