Government Internship: The Cathy Shipley "Best and Brightest Internship" Program

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A cooperative endeavor of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, local jurisdictions, and the University of Colorado Denver Center for New Directions, the Cathy Shipley Best and Brightest Internship Program offers a scholarly introduction to state and local politics, together with professional development opportunities through hands-on experience as a paid governmental staff member in one of Colorado's small or rural jurisdictions.

While working, for example, as an assistant town manager, sustainability officer, or policy analyst, interns in this program contribute research on social, environmental, and economic issues facing small and rural communities across Colorado, while also working toward completion of the Master's degree, in flexible weekend courses.

Interns are compensated with a salary and benefits package of up to $42,000 per year

Internships are awarded annually to applicants enrolled in the CU Denver New Directions Masters Degree program, or who agree to enter that program prior to the internship beginning. Contact the New Directions Director for more information on how to apply.

“I owe everything to the New Directions Internship Program. I went from no experience in local gover nment to my first position as town manager in six months of my New Directions internship.  As I grew as a professional, New Directions provided me with practical knowledge and tools to become a better manager and leader. 10 years later, I still use New Directions material to teach veteran government practitioners." -Justin Clifton, City Manager, City of Sedona (AZ)

"Though my experience with the DOLA Best and Brightest Internship has been short, I can say without a doubt that it has been life changing in more ways than I can describe in a short paragraph. As a hands-on learner, being able to dive in and work with City Councilors, Mayors, County Commissioners, and City Administration have given me an avenue to apply my skill set learned through my Masters Program at CU Denver in real-time. Not only is this perfect to expand my career, but it is also personally fulfilling and immensely gratifying to know my work is directly related to improving the lives of people in the community I work in. If you value a future in public administration or community development, there isn't a program out there that would serve you better." -Matthew Gordon, Current Intern for City of Brush, CO