About

The Public Policy Internship Program (PPIP) trains, places, and supports students in policy-related internships, both domestically and abroad. These internships are offered every summer, fall and spring semester. The program reports to the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies office at Texas A&M University.

The PPIP staff also manages the Agricultural and Natural Resources Policy (ANRP) Internship Program, a sister policy program out of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Vision

To develop leaders of character dedicated to serving the greater good through policy. 

Mission

The Public Policy Internship Program exposes students to the policy process through integrating academic classroom learning with practical application and skill development in a full-time, professional, policy-related work setting. The program accomplished this through (1) creating and implementing recruiting and marketing strategies to identify and matriculate high-caliber interns, (2) aiding students through the placement process in competitive and challenging policy related hosting offices/organizations, and (3) providing professional training and support before, during, and after their internships.

Program Goals/Objectives

The Public Policy Internship Program aims:
  1. To provide opportunities for students to understand the policy-making process and how it can be applied, and relates to policy in their respective field of study.
  2. To enable students to develop personal and professional skills, explore career interests, and expand their professional networks.
  3. To provide opportunities for students to evaluate and apply knowledge gained from academic coursework in a professional work environment.
  4. To connect hosting offices with student interns who are interested in learning about the policy-process through practical work experience.

Learning Outcomes

All of the following program learning outcomes connect directly to Texas A&M University Undergraduate Learning Outcomes. Specifically, as a result of participating in this professional policy internship, interns will be able to:
 
  1. Apply academic knowledge in a professional setting
The primary goal of an internship is to provide the student with the opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to solve real problems in personal and professional settings.
 
  1. Develop professionally relevant competencies and relationships in a professional setting
The student works together with the site supervisor to specify how the student plans to sharpen and develop new knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to serve effectively in a professional policy related setting. Students will use appropriate strategies and tools to represent, analyze, and integrate information while in the internship to develop reasonable positions. Additionally, relationships with the site supervisor and other professionals add to the student’s professional network.
 
  1. Gain understanding of and exposure to the public policy process 
The student is able to learn through formal training and on-the-job experiences the public policy process. The student is able to experience various aspects of the policy process through interactions with the site supervisor and other employees, as well as through interactions and meetings with customers, clients, and/or constituents.
 
  1. Observe a diverse professional organizational culture and an understanding of professional etiquette 
The student begins to understand the dynamics of an organization’s culture through observing and reflecting on how decisions are made, how work is structured, how power is shared, how colleagues interact, how an organization’s mission/vision are implemented, and to what degree accountability and feedback are present in the organization. This is accomplished in diverse (economic, political, cultural, religious, etc.) contexts. The student also practices proper business etiquette while fulfilling their internship responsibilities.
 
  1. Clarify career goals and personal aspirations
The internship experience allows the student to put their knowledge and talents to practical use in preparation for a life of leadership and service to the greater good. The student is able to reflect on the internship experience and make connections between what the student understands about his or her giftedness, and the needs of the profession the student is exploring through the internship experience. 

History

The Texas A&M University Public Policy Internship Program (PPIP) was established in 1999 by Dr. Ray Bowen, then President of Texas A&M University, to respond to society’s increasing interest and participation in public policy issues and programs. Since then approximately 600 Aggies have interned in Washington, D.C.; Austin, TX and various European Union locations.  PPIP is coordinated from the Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies.  This allows the program to be coordinated centrally through the colleges to provide an integrated academic and policy-related program for the campus and community.