Public Policy & Government Related


Public Policy & Government Related

Usually outside of the government sector, but closely related, are several other industries such as public policy, think tanks, government consulting, government relations, congressional affairs, regulatory affairs, public affairs, and lobbying. Policy has three main aspects: Research, advocacy, and communications. How these are managed, blended, or separated within a policy firm or think tank varies.  Think tanks, such as AEI and Brookings, follow a university-model and focus primarily on research and books, longer papers, lectures to communicate. Policy communications firms, such as Hamilton Place Strategies and Third Way research current media and other information resources to develop rapid response and daily advocacy messages and communicate it differently than university-model think tanks.

Job Title Examples:

  • Communications Intern
  • Policy Coordinator
  • Research Assistant - Global Health Data Analysis
  • Research and Social Media Intern - Global Food Security Program
  • Industry and Cyber Security Policy Analyst
  • Government Affairs Assistant
  • Product and Regulatory Environment Group
  • Policy Analyst

Skills Needed:

  • Problem solving skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Research skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Organization
  • Communication and writing skills

Find Opportunities

Irishcompass 01

Using IrishCompass, LinkedIn, and ND’s alumni association directory called myND is the best way to start on the networking front.

Job Databases:

STEM & Public Policy

Government Consulting

International Development

Political and Political Risk Consulting

Lobbying/Government and Regulatory Affairs

See online resources below for listings of many more policy and government-related organizations

Industry Timeline

The industry hiring timeline for policy and many government related organizations varies greatly.  However, the norm is two or three months before the internship or job position start date.  Very few of the policy and government related organizations will recruit on college campuses unless they happen to be within the same location as the college campus. If you are applying for a summer internship or an open position after graduation, it is important to research the organization website  in the preceding late fall. For larger, corporate-oriented, government consulting firms,  the application timeline can be 5 or 6 months before  the internship begins or even during the fall recruiting for larger corporate government consulting firms. Some of the government consulting firms will participate in campus career fairs.

Applying and Interviewing


Try to avoid applying at the very last minute for internships and jobs with policy and government related organizations.  Make an effort to reach out to Notre Dame alumni who might work at that organization to learn more about what they are really seeking as well as understanding the culture research areas topics of the organization.  Be prepared not only to send a one-page resume and a cover letter but also a writing sample. Research and writing are so critical for many of these kinds of organizations they want to see something that you've already written.  This writing sample could be part of a major paper you have prepared for a class or it could be a policy brief.   See information about writing samples in our Career Development Guide. Ensure that everything is grammatically correct in that paper as well as the rest of your application materials.  Some of the organizations may ask for references a few might ask for a letter of recommendation.


Your resume will often be the first impression for a potential employer.  You want to make sure that your resume is one page, concise, direct, and specific. Ensure that your resume is tailored for the position and for the industry. Highlighting relevant coursework, research projects/papers, senior capstone or thesis can also demonstrate research experience and methodology and topics you’ve studied relevant to the position. Review our guide on resumes for more information on how to construct professional documents.

Cover Letters

A cover letter introduces you to a potential employer. Use the position description to make specific connections between your skills and experience and what the organization is looking for in a candidate. The cover letter should be concise and well-written—if a potential employer reads your cover letter and is intrigued, they will then read your resume. Your cover letter should not repeat your resume verbatim, but enhance it. Together the cover letter and resume can help land you an interview. Review our guide on cover letters for more information on how to construct one.


Preparation is extremely important for interviews. Research the company/organization, current and previous projects they’ve worked on, and e The individuals with whom you are interviewing. This will not only help provide talking points but will show your knowledge and genuine interest in the position.  When interviewing with public policy and other government related organizations,  it is important to understand their political slant, read some of the papers published by scholars, or follow the website for their policy communications with their audiences.  If you are applying for a policy opportunity on a specific topic know some of the current information and debate   surrounding that topic  understand where the organization with which you are interviewing stands on the topic. If an interview is requested, expect a background and reference check. Utilize our resources on how to best prepare yourself to excel in your interview.

Online Resources

Public Policy 

Government Consulting

International Development

Political Consulting

Political Risk Consulting

Political risk consulting firms specializing in analyzing the business risk presented by the political environment in a region or country--including but not limited to regulatory risk in particular sectors, risks of appropriation or nationalization, and broader geopolitical risks.

Lobbying/Government and Regulatory Affairs

Campus Resources


Career Counselor:
Ryan Patrick
Assistant Director, Government, Policy and Law Careers
Schedule an Appointment

Student Clubs:

Employer Examples:

Policy/Think Tanks

  • Atlantic Council
  • Brookings Institution
  • Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
  • Center for Education Policy Research
  • Foreign Policy Institute

Government Consulting

  • Lewin
  • Maximus
  • FTI
  • Public Consulting Group
  • FSG
  • SRA International

International Development

  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • International Finance Corporation
  • Second Food Harvest
  • International Economic Development Council
  • InterAction

Political Consulting

  • Smith & Harroff, Inc.
  • Pacific Research & Strategies
  • Axiom Strategies
  • SKDKnickerbocker
  • Global Strategy Group

Political Risk Consulting

  • Albright Stonebridge Group
  • Luminae
  • The Asia Group
  • Eurasia
  • The Scowcroft Group

Lobbying/Government and Regulatory Affairs

  • Cornerstone Government Affairs
  • American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and Its Affiliates of Illinois
  • Sierra Club
  • Blank Rome Government Affairs LLC
  • Alliance of Community Health Plans

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