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Governor Dayton and 2017 Spring Semester interns

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 Summer 2017. The application deadline is March 15th. Applicants will be contacted regarding the status of their application by April 3rd. 

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. Applicants for the Policy Department are encouraged to submit a research-based writing sample.

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 
130 State Capitol
St. Paul, MN 55155 
FAX: 651-797-1880  

Public Engagement and Constituent Services

The Public Engagement and Constituent Services Department is seeking dedicated individuals who are eager to help others and make government work for all Minnesotans, and who are looking to get an in-depth, broad understanding of the role and functions of state government.

The Constituent Services Department works to ensure that the Governor's Office is accessible to the people of Minnesota by providing individualized assistance for constituent questions, comments, requests and concerns. Interns in this department play an integral role in helping maintain a strong relationship between the Governor's office and the community.  Interns are provided all necessary training, work closely with department staff, and engage in meaningful work that requires robust critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

Duties include staffing the Department’s intake phone lines, drafting letters and other communications, maintaining records of mail received, and assisting with other miscellaneous administrative functions.

Successful applicants will have:

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

One intern will have the opportunity to work with the Governor’s Appointments department who handle all gubernatorial appointments to boards, commissions and judicial appointments.

One intern will have the opportunity to work with the Children’s Cabinet. The work for the Children’s Cabinet would include assisting staff in planning and staffing other meetings held by the Children’s Cabinet

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Office of Inclusion

The Chief Inclusion Officer is seeking a highly-motivated, professional intern with a demonstrated interest in advancing equity and inclusion in state government and elsewhere.

In 2015, Governor Dayton created the Office of Inclusion 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 office 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 Chief Inclusion Officer through daily task management, assisting with outreach to agencies, organizations, and community advocates; analyzing data, and 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 equity and 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 communication 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.

Office of Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith

The Office of Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith is seeking organized, ambitious, enthusiastic and professional candidates to assist in scheduling, research, data management, and travel planning for the Lt. Governor.
The Lt. Governor’s Office is located within, and collaborates closely with, the Office of Governor Mark Dayton. Interns will work with the Lt. Governor’s scheduler and aide as well as staff members from each department who work on communications, policy, and scheduling efforts for the Lt. Governor. 
Primary job functions include:
  • Using scheduling database to receive, record, and manage event requests and other scheduling items
  • Researching event opportunities and travel options, and assist the Director of External Relations in planning travel for the Lt. Governor
  • Aiding in preparations for staff meetings and meetings with stakeholders
  • Drafting event briefing memos on a wide range of topics, and assist in creating Lt. Governor’s daily briefing book
  • Assisting Lt. Governor’s scheduler and aide with administrative tasks as needed
  • Working closely with key staff members, senior advisors, and Lt. Governor Smith on to advance the agenda of the Lt. Governor and the Governor’s Office as a whole
Successful candidates have a strong work ethic, attention to detail, well-developed research, writing, and organizational skills, and an interest in the policy initiatives and overall agenda of Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith.
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