7 Top Internship Fields Interns Crave in Washington D.C.

By Jacqueline Kay| March 6, 2018

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There is nothing like Washington DC. Being immersed in American history, politics, journalism, government at the center of everything is an experience interns crave! That’s why thousands flock to our Nations Capital every year.

It’s true that cities like New York and Los Angeles have a lot to offer, but our nation’s beautiful capital city has unbeatable opportunities. You’ll be amazed and thrilled by the variety of professions that offer internships in Washington. Spoiler Alert: They’re NOT all political!

Here are the top 7 fields interns crave in DC:

1. Law

Whether you apply to the Brennan Center for Justice, the National Association of Broadcasters or one of the other heavy hitters in the area, D.C. is chock full of law offices that are looking for interns. Especially now! If you’re a budding law student looking for solid internship opportunities, you could do a lot worse than Washington D.C. This is where a lot of law originates, and you will find many different opportunities that appeal to you here.

Here’s the top 10 most respected law firms interns would die to work for according to Vault:

  • Cravath, Swaine & Moore
  • Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
  • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
  • Sullivan & Cromwell
  • Davis Polk & Wardwell
  • Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
  • Latham & Watkins
  • Kirkland & Ellis
  • Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges

On the smaller side, but still top-rated law firms, look at O’Melveny & Myers, who have offices in DC.

DC Internships Interns crave-In-DC

2. Business

Business internships are available in any major city, but Washington D.C. offers an unmatched mix of government and private industry that come together to make for an altogether knockout selection. Take a look at some of the different businesses in the area, and you’ll find an internship opportunity that appeals to you in no time. It’s important to realize that business internships in D.C. are quite competitive, though, so be ready to go head-to-head with several other students who are competing for those top positions.

Here are the 11 largest corporations with Headquarters in DC from the Fortune 500 list:

  • No. 16: Fannie Mae
  • No. 43: Freddie Mac
  • No.  60: Lockheed Martin Corp.
  • No. 88: General Dynamics Corp.
  • No. 112: Capital One Financial
  • No. 118: Northrop Grumman
  • No. 133: Danaher Corp.
  • No. 190: AES Corp.
  • No. 195: Marriott International Inc.
  • No. 233: Computer Sciences Corp.
  • No. 254: Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.

3. Politics / Government

If you’re interested in politics, why in the world would you search anywhere other than Washington D.C.? Many interns who stay with us at WISH are interning for congresspeople and senators. Often, they apply in their home state and are brought here to work. Where political internships are concerned, Washington offers the cream of the crop, hands down.

With a bit of luck and a top-notch application, you too could find yourself working for a congressman, working in the House of Representatives, or getting an internship at one of the many other political establishments that are centered in the D.C. area.

Look here for the top 10 federal internships on Monster

Search on DC.gov for government internships

4. Human Resources/ Hospitality

Washington D.C. is the perfect place to hone your skills in human resource and learn how to manage people effectively. As an intern in the nation’s capital, you’ll have your pick of positions from major companies like Aflac and MEW Solutions, or non-profit organizations like MWE. Healthcare, insurance D.C. is a hotbed of activity and excellent area to get your start in the art of managing people.


The biggest corporations with offices in DC are:

  • Lockheed Martin: HQ: Bethesda, MD.
  • Danaher: HQ: Washington, D.C.
  • General Dynamics: HQ: Falls Church, VA
  • Northrop Grumman: HQ: Falls Church, VA
  • Marriott International: HQ: Bethesda, MD
  • Capital One Financial: HQ: McLean, VA
  • AvalonBay Communities: HQ: Arlington, VA
  • Hilton Worldwide: HQ: McLean, VA
  • T. Rowe Price: HQ: Baltimore, MD

5. Journalism

There are few areas in the world that are better-suited to journalists than Washington D.C. Whether you’re covering a rally, special political events, speeches, or something else that’s occurring in the capital city, there are plenty of internships here for journalism majors. Not only will you surround yourself with other qualified journalists, but you’ll be able to get up close and personal with some of the biggest and best news stories in the country.

Finding the right internship takes time, but it’s worth the effort. Washington D.C. isn’t the only big city in America, but it’s a pretty unique location that provides a lot of internship opportunities that other parts of the world simply can’t offer. That’s why so many students continue to flock to the area looking for positions, and why it’s such a competitive environment for new interns looking for positions with top companies.

Search at internships.com for journalism internships


6. Media

NPR Internships

Internship opportunities at the Smithsonian

Indeed’s Media internship opportunites


7. Not for profit

Want to do some good in the world? Washington is the home for thousands of not-for-profits, philanthropic organizations and many inter’s favorite: The Smithsonian. They need help!

American University directory on non profits in DC

Search on the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum website

Wikipedia’s list

Simply Hired’s list of internships in the non-profit sector

Refugees International

Whatever your calling, DC has a place for you. Interning here will change your life!

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