Explore Your Options

Explore Your Options

Government, Politics, and Public Service

Government, politics, and public service careers focus on governance, national security, Foreign Service, planning, regulation, and administration at the local, state, and federal levels. The positions in this field enforce and determine policy through political systems and institutions, ensuring that fundamental rights are universally guaranteed.

Learn About the Field

Career exploration is all about research. Use the following information to learn if a career in government, politics, and public service is for you.

Latest News in the Field

Keep informed about what’s happening in this field by reading what the professionals read. Visit the following sites regularly!

Partnership for Public Service
Roll Call
Go Government
Reuters Politics News
The Washington Post Politics
The New York Times Politics
Huffington Post Politics
The Wall Street Journal Politics & Policy

Meet People

Now that you've done a little research about the government, politics, and public service field, it's time to start meeting with industry professionals. It's an easy way to learn more about what your future career path might look like. It's also a great way to network with people who may know about internship or full-time job opportunities.

Networking Resources

IUB Alumni LinkedIn – You can connect with over 186,000 IUB alumni from various programs after you create a LinkedIn profile. Search for alumni based on location, company, industry, and what they studied. To learn more about how to set-up your profile and use this tool, visit these resources.

IU Alumni Directory—Request an account and use it to search for IU Alumni who have graduated from our government, politics, and public service programs. You can see where they’re working now and email them directly from the site. Contact a dozen people to start with and see where you end up. You may need to contact more in order to get some helpful responses.

Informational Interviewing Guide—Once you know who you’re interested in talking with, use this guide to request and conduct an informational interview.

Social Media Networking

Use social media to network with professionals and their organizations. LinkedIn, a professional networking site, is a great way to connect. Here are a few organizations that have a strong social presence.

Join a Professional Association

National professional associations are valuable sources for a variety of career information. You can learn about certification requirements, job leads, internships, educational opportunities, and more. Many associations offer discounted membership rates for students.

Get Experience
Build Your Skills

Having career-relevant work experience on your resume will give you a big head start when it comes time to land your post-grad dream job. Now that you’ve researched your career options, take advantage of the opportunities below to build the skills you need to be competitive. Remember: employers also like to see plenty of leadership experience listed.

Join Student Organizations

There are more than 700 student organizations at IU—which means there are more than 700 ways you can get some really impressive leadership experience. Below are some groups specific to government, politics, and public service. Check out BeINvolved to learn about even more student organizations through IU Student Life and Learning.

Get a Part Time Job

Use myJobs to learn about part- and full-time job opportunities. Here are career-relevant jobs that students have participated in.

*Jobs with asterisks are within walking distance from campus.

Volunteer Opportunities

Put your talents to good use and build experience along the way! Off-campus volunteer opportunities exist around every corner. Below are some volunteer opportunities within about an hour’s drive of Bloomington.

Find a job or internship

You've done your research, created a network, and beefed up your resume. Now it's time to hit the job market. The list below shows some organizations that often recruit IU graduates from government, politics, and public service majors. This list also shows some organizations where recent government, politics, and public service graduates have gone to work. Remember that an education in these majors can prepare you for a number of careers.

Job Search Sites

These sites post jobs that relate directly to government, politics, and public service. Remember to use these sites in addition to your network of people to maximize your chance of finding good opportunities. Many of the professional associations listed in the Meet People tab will post industry-specific jobs. Look for a page titled "careers," "jobs," "employment," or "opportunities."

Keywords for Job Searches

As you use the web to search for more opportunities, get creative with the search terms you use. Try the list below to maximize your results.

  • Legislative
  • Municipal
  • Congress
  • Senate
  • Constituent
  • Community Service
  • Economic Development
  • Community Development
  • Lobbying
  • Public Administration
  • Analyst
  • Advocacy
  • Planning
  • Development
Organization & Company Research Resources

When you’re preparing for a job interview, it pays to do your research. Use the resources here to learn about an organization’s history, business, and culture. Once you have a good understanding of what the company’s about, formulate a list of questions to ask during your interview. This will show your interviewer that you’re genuinely interested in the job and give you a deeper understanding of what to expect if you’re hired.

Common Interview Questions

Interviews can vary from one industry to another. Remember, interviewers are trying to assess your experience and your fit for a specific position, so depending on the position, your questions will vary greatly. This is a small sample of questions designed to help you understand the kind of field-specific questions you might be asked.

  • Describe a situation in which others within your organization depended on you.
  • Describe a situation when you positively influenced the actions of others in a desired direction.
  • Tell me about a job experience when you had to speak up and tell others what you thought or felt.
  • What kinds of experience do you have with public interest organizations?
  • What would the greatest drawback of this job be for you?
  • What community service project do you believe allowed you to make the greatest impact and how?
  • What have you done that shows initiative and creativity in reference to this job?
  • How do you keep up-to-date on current political issues?
  • Tell me about a time when your ethics were challenged. How did you handle the situation?
Insider Tips
  • Engage in your community through volunteer opportunities that can develop your leadership skills. Market that volunteer/community service on resume.
  • If you want to work in the international aspects of the government, travel as much as possible and expand your language skills.
  • Get to know USA Jobs inside and out.
  • Many federal and political jobs require a great deal of team involvement. Highlight specific teamwork examples in your resume and in interviews.
  • “Be the leaders that you’ve always wanted to see in your government. Be the leaders that the American people expect you to be. Don’t wait for others to create the next great government program or come up with the next great innovation, and don’t lose the spirit of service that brought you here in the first place.” –Tom Fox
  • Savvy leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors are using social media to increase transparency, facilitate collaboration, share information, and solve problems in ways unimaginable a few years ago. Discuss your skills with specific social media sites.
  • Utilize the publication resources at Partnership for Public Service.