The City of Palo Alto offers an exciting range of summer internship opportunities that provide an insider’s view into local government operations.
The internships are usually within the City Manager’s Office, Utilities, Public Works, Information Technology, Community Services, Library, and People Strategy & Operations departments. The internship program is intended to supplement a student’s ongoing education program.
Over the course of the summer, interns have the opportunity to work on a significant project related to their educational course work, network with professionals in local government, and to observe first-hand the efforts of the City to resolve complex issues of policy and governance.
Please view our Job Opportunities Page for internship posting.
To learn more: Palo Alto at a Glance
Typically 15 to 25 internships are offered in one of the following departments:
Office of the City Manager
Office of the City Clerk
Office of the City Attorney
Office of the City Auditor
Administrative Services Department
Development Services Department
People Strategy and Operations
Public Works Department
Planning & Community Environment Department
Community Services Department
Orientation, Education Sessions and Evaluation
Orientation to the City is provided on the first day of the internship, which includes meeting with the City Manager, review of the organizational structure, policies and procedures. Interns will also complete team building exercises to grow their communication and project management skills.
Throughout the summer weekly educational sessions will occur which are focused on linking the student's areas of study with hands on work experience. Additional education sessions will focus on career development, leadership, management as well as site tours of City facilities. The City participates in the Regional Internship Program as past the Next Generation Silicon Valley initiatives.
At the end of the internship, participants will evaluate the program and their supervisor. The intern will also be evaluated on analytical, creative, problem solving and leadership skills. The City is committed to working with students to fulfill their education requirements. Intern applicants interested in using this program for college credit are asked to share these requirements during the interview process.
Applicants are encouraged to apply online through the internship posting located on the People Strategy & Operations website. Hiring managers will review the candidate list after the closing date of the position. Interviews can be held in person, via phone or video conference.
The City intends to provide interns with real world experience related to their education. Additionally, interns will develop their analytical, creative, practical, problem solving and team building skills. The specific job posting will also further define the learning outcomes.
Compensation & Schedule
The hourly rate internships ranges between $10 - $25 per hour.
"The City of Palo Alto's internship program was great! I had the opportunity to work in the City's green building department during the summer of '09, and learned all about a field related to my major. My supervisor was very helpful, my coworkers fun, and the other interns bright. I gained a lot from the program, and was sad when I had to leave and return to school! I would definitely recommended the program to anyone interested."
"It was an awesome opportunity to see how local government works and to meet public servants who have devoted their lives to working with and in the community."
"Interning with the City of Palo Alto gave me valuable insight into the life of a public servant, working towards the common goal of a community rather than the economic goals of a for-profit. Two years later, I am still working with local governments and enjoying the rich satisfaction of bringing much needed services to the people of those communities."