Summer Internships at HKS

Summer Internships at HKS

While campus is relatively quiet during the summer months, Harvard

Kennedy School students are hard at work, putting their classroom training to

work, applying new skills, and helping to tackle local and global policy challenges.

The Master in Public Administration in International

Development (MPA/ID) program is the only one of our degree programs that

requires a summer internship, though many of the students in our other two-year

programs spend the summer between their first and second years building upon

the skills learned in the classroom with hands-on experience.

Last Summer…

  • HKS students completed 258 internships in summer


  • 41% of internships were in the public sector,

    33% nonprofit & NGO, and 26% private sector.

  • 29% of internships were international, while 71%

    were based in the U.S.

2021 Student Internship Stories

Sarah Lin MPP 2022: Asian

American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Commission, Graduate Intern

What did you work on?
This summer, I designed and directed the Asian American

Commission (AAC)’s AAPI Women in Politics and Public Service initiative. The

initiative consisted of a two-part event series and social media campaign that

highlighted the experiences, challenges, and accomplishments of AAPI women in

public service across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

What was surprising?
I wouldn’t say that it’s surprising, but my research this

summer has only underscored the reality of AAPI women’s vast

underrepresentation in elected offices across the country. When AAPI women’s voices are more proportionately

represented at policymaking tables, they give visibility to the needs of underserved

communities and help ensure that federal, state, and local policies are more

responsive to diverse constituencies. Simply put, increasing AAPI women’s

political representation leads to a more inclusive, robust, and effective

democracy. I hope to continue leading and advocating for that kind of reality.

Diana Ayoub MPA/ID / MIT Sloan MBA 2023: The

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Policy

and Research Intern

What did you work on?
I contributed to the research and writing of the OECD’s

Annual Africa Development Dynamics report. The report discusses the integration

of African countries in the global value chain in response to the African

Continental Free Trade Agreement. As an intern, I conducted statistical

analysis and wrote on trade facilitation, digital infrastructure, debt

sustainability, cross-border informal trade, and strategic value chains

mapping. It was very exciting to join experts’ meetings from across the

continent through the drafting process.

What was surprising?
I was surprised by the number of opportunities I was given

to take ownership of my work and lead my team on multiple occasions. Before I

started, I expected most of my work would be supporting authors but did not

realize I was going to be given the opportunity to brainstorm and co-author

such a significant part of the report.

Anthony Sacco MPA / Penn Law JD 2022: U.S.

Senate Committee on Finance, Tax Policy Fellow

What did you work on?
I was on the committee’s Democratic tax staff working on

federal tax policy, particularly issues relating to passthrough businesses,

capital gains, and retirement plans.

What was fun?
I was able to participate substantively in many discussions,

especially our work on partnership tax reform. My colleagues were so inclusive

and supportive, urging me to share my thoughts during meetings, ask questions,

and even contribute some of my own ideas. This aspect of the internship was

very rewarding, as I was actually able to meaningfully engage and draw on my

own knowledge of partnership tax and other topics.

Summer Internship Funding

We understand that many of our students undertake unpaid or

minimally paid summer internships in public service or at nonprofits. As a

result, we offer limited summer stipends through the HKS Summer Internship Fund

(SIF). This funding enables our students to be able to spend the summer gaining

valuable experience in roles that are aligned with the school’s public service

mission. Many of the school’s research centers and

initiatives also provide support for summer internships.

Explore the full 2021

Summer Internship Report to learn more about how HKS students spent

their summer last year. And keep an eye out for the 2022 report this fall to learn more about what students are doing this summer.