Internships provide practical experience for graduate students of political science

A program that places master’s students of political science in internship positions has won a vote of confidence from Leamington—the town will double its commitment next year.

After Rachael Myers completed her term as the program’s first intern in Leamington, it has agreed to take two next year.

“The money is already in the budget,” the town’s chief administrative officer, Bill Marck, said Thursday at a reception celebrating the completion of the program’s inaugural placements. “We believe in this program. There are a lot of students who come out of academia without any practical experience.”

The town arranged a variety of experiences for Myers, who worked in every department, from the town hall to the recreation centre. Among the highlights of her placement, which ran from May through October, she cited writing bylaws and policies and creating a mandate for a proposed youth advisory committee.

Andy Drouillard did similar work for the City of Windsor, producing a progress report on action toward corporate goals for the office of continuous improvement and helping to create plans for the fire fighting service.

“I was given a lot of responsibility,” Drouillard said. “They had me doing things that actually needed to get done.”

It’s the sort of experience that can help the students to build their careers, said internship coordinator Joanna Sweet, a sessional instructor in political science. She called the program a “win-win-win,” evidenced by the fact that all this year’s employers hope to be involved again.

“The students get the experience, the employers get high-quality graduate students to work with them, and the department benefits by being able to offer these opportunities to attract top candidates,” said Dr. Sweet.

Besides Myers’ placement with Leamington and Drouillard’s with the city of Windsor, the five interns in the inaugural group included Caitlin Drouillard with the International Joint Commission, Mario Marrelli with the Alzheimer’s Society of Windsor and Essex County, and Cynthia McGill with Family Services Windsor-Essex.