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Chicago Program: Arts, Entrepreneurship, & Social Justice

Chicago, Illinois


Chicago has a wealth of internship possibilities for students, with countless programs and groups dedicated to the arts, thousands of businesses large and small, and a wide variety of social welfare, not-for-profit, educational, and community-based organizations. Students in the Chicago Program commit a minimum of 150 hours to their internship, which typically requires two days per week at the internship site.

Program faculty and staff members act as advisors to the internship program, consulting with site supervisors in determining the terms for the students' work and evaluations, and working with students as they define their interests, develop resumes, prepare for interviews, and apply for internship positions.  In addition, students participate in a series of workshops, discussion groups, evaluation sessions, and final internship projects designed to help them contextualize and reflect upon the experience as they consider future professional careers.

Here is a small sampling of recent Chicago Program internships:

Internships for Art Majors

  • Event planning, preservation, research, and exhibit design and maintenance at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
  • Working with children in the art program at Lill Street Art Center
  • Assisting in installation and de-installations of new art at the ARC Gallery & Educational Foundation
  • Handling art in the prints and drawings department while working with curators and conservationists at the Art Institute of Chicago

Internships for Business & Economics Majors

  • Creating marketing materials for World Business Chicago
  • Reviewing grant applications for the Crossroads Fund
  • Economic development research for Andersonville Development Corporation
  • Global market policy work for World Trade Center Chicago

Arts student Justin Williams, interning at WGN.

 Internships for Communications, Film, and TV Majors

  • Production Assistant at Fox News Channel
  • Responsible for producing user-generated content and helping broadcast teams at
  • Teaching assistant in after school video classes and office assistant at Community TV Network
  • Assisting the Executive Producer, scheduling guests, and writing scripts at WVON Radio/Midway Broadcasting

Internships for Education Majors

  • Assisting with school events and meeting with students regarding their academic progress at the Multicultural Arts High School
  • Preparing instructional material, classroom management, co-teaching and student mentoring at the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School.

Internships for English and Creative Writing Majors

  • Promotional work, book binding and assisting in organizing national book tours at Feather Proof Books
  • Copy editing, researching the literary scene, and soliciting advertisements at Make Magazine
  • Participated in on-going programs at the community-based literary organization, Guild Complex

Internships for Environmental Studies Majors

  • Fieldwork for GreenCorps, a program of the Chicago Dept. of Environment providing horticultural instruction, material and employment
  • Conducting studies and surveys for the Chicago Department of Environment programs such as lead paint, ground samples, green roofs and solar energy
  • Working with the Master Gardener Program at the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance on urban agriculture programs such as creating community gardens
  • Leading field trips, teaching preschool and grade school public programs and conducting ecological restoration at the North Park Village Nature Center.

Internships for Humanities (Religion, Languages, English and Literature, History) Majors

  • Research and collections management at the Field Museum of Natural History
  • Assisting with ESL and citizenship classes at the Association House
  • Copyedit and research articles for the Hyde Park Herald

Internships for Music Majors

  • Maintaining music venues and music production at the Underground Wonder Music and Avenue of the Heart.
  • Research new music and assist in production at record label, Numero Group
  • Promotional work at one of Chicago’s independent record labels, Bloodshot Records
  • Working on donor solicitations and individual annual giving at Chicago Chamber Musicians

Internships for Pre-Med Majors

  • Shadowing a doctor at the Cook County Hospital Clinic
  • Conducting clinical quality survey research for a study for the Cook County Hospital Emergency Room
  • Providing psychological and social service support for patients who are HIV positive, have AIDS, or have contracted other infectious diseases at Cook County Hospital’s CORE Center
  • Health education for the Erie Family Health Center
  • Working with health professionals to improve the quality of life for children with disabilities at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Internships for Pre-Law Majors

  • Research and mediation for Northwestern University Law School’s Bluhm Legal Clinic
  • Assisting the Cook County Public Defender’s Office in juvenile justice misdemeanor and post conviction cases
  • Providing advocacy and supportive services to clients for the Lawyer’s Committee for Better Housing
  • Assisting public interest attorneys in creating solutions to the affordable housing and the improvement of public schools at the Business and Professional People for the Public Interest.

Internships for Political Science and Government Majors

  • Urban Studies student Matt Gustavson, working as part of the "Obama For America" campaign.

    Campaign staff for Barack Obama
  • Mayoral Policy Caucus intern at Chicago Metropolis 2020 working on policy issues for prisoner re-entry
  • Environmental public policy work at the Center for Neighborhood Technology
  • Constituency building for the Chicago Commission on Human Relations
  • Legislative aide to State Senator Kwame Raoul
  • Community liaison for Alderman Toni Preckwinkle
  • Field work, research and development at City of Chicago Department of Planning
  • Organizing for labor justice at Latino Union
  • Developing new tools for community organizing and coalition building at the Organization of the Northeast

Internships for Psychology Majors

  • Facilitating school groups with Cornerstone Counseling Center of Chicago
  • Rape crisis advocate at the Sexual Assault Hotline for the YWCA
  • Working with student leaders in the Restorative Justice program at Alternatives, Inc.
  • Assisting Special Education teachers and therapists at the Easter Seals Therapeutic Day School
  • Policy research for the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health

Internships for Sociology/Anthropology and Social Work Majors

  • Behavioral health services for patients with infectious diseases at Cook County Hospital’s CORE Center
  • Delinquency intervention services for at risk youth with Community Human Services
  • Planning and organizing community campaigns with the Organization of the NorthEast
  • Providing support services to women who are homeless women at Sarah’s Circle

Internships for Theatre Majors

  • Urban Studies student Kera Halvorson at her internship with About Face Theatre.

    Marketing, development, production, and theatre administration work at Redmoon Theatre
  • Helping youth create a production with Free Street Theatre
  • Assisting in development of face to face workshops and the Youth Theatre Project at the About Face Theatre
  • Working on production and development of plays focusing on controversial political and social issues at Stage Left Theatre

Internships for Urban Studies/Urban Planning Majors

  • Urban development research on community sustainability for Congress for the New Urbanism
  • Preparing regional plans for the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission
  • Public policy research for the Metropolitan Planning Council

Chicago Program: Arts, Entrepreneurship, & Social Justice

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Michael Bonner The Chicago Program gave me the opportunity to truly explore artistry through the Chicago lenses without restriction. I got the opportunity to write a novel, a goal I had been hoping to achieve for a long time, and to make it part of my coursework. I'm glad that the program gave us freedom to deeply explore.

—Michael Bonner, Chicago Program (Arts), Fall 2009

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The Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) is a consortium of independent, liberal arts colleges in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Colorado.