The application deadline for the 2013 summer internship program has passed. Sign up in the box at right to be notified when applications become available for the 2014 program.
ARI Summer Internship 2013
Are you a college student or recent graduate intrigued by Ayn Rand’s books and ideas, and the debate surrounding them? Would you like to gain professional work experience this summer? If so, the Ayn Rand Institute’s summer internship program may be the ideal opportunity for you.
This unique three-week program combines an educational curriculum exploring Rand’s novels, philosophy, and the applications of her ideas to the world today with a traditional internship in a professional workplace. This year’s program will bring up to 30 college students and recent graduates from a range of disciplines, backgrounds, and viewpoints to ARI’s main office in Irvine, a small city centrally located in Orange County in sunny Southern California. To assist with living and travel arrangements, all ARI interns receive a $1,200 scholarship and $500 travel stipend.
The classroom component is aimed at students who are relatively new to Ayn Rand, and takes a critical look at her novels and ideas. The curriculum covers a significant portion of Rand’s corpus, both fiction and nonfiction, with Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead serving as keystone texts. (Note: it is not necessary to have read these works to apply.) A variety of writings from other authors are read and compared with those of Rand. The classroom is an open, respectful environment where students are free to express their views on the topics discussed.
In past years, the curriculum has included such activities as:
debating the meaning of egoism in The Fountainhead...
exploring character development in Atlas Shrugged...
discussing Rand’s theory of art in The Romantic Manifesto...
comparing Rand’s view of capitalism to that of other thinkers...
applying Rand’s philosophy to current issues, such as the financial crisis, environmentalism, and foreign policy...
and much more.
The internship faculty typically comprises a mix of ARI and outside scholars. Past ARI faculty have included Objectivist Academic Center instructors Onkar Ghate (ARI senior fellow), Doug Altner (ARI instructor), Keith Lockitch (ARI fellow), and Elan Journo (ARI fellow), as well as Debi Ghate (ARI vice president of Education and Research), Tom Bowden (ARI outreach liason), Don Watkins (ARI fellow), and Rituparna Basu (ARI writer). Past outside faculty have included Eric Daniels (research assistant professor, Clemson University), Robert Mayhew (professor, Seton Hall University), and Gregory Salmieri (visiting scholar in philosophy and fellow in Objectivity and Values, Boston University). Additionally, for the past three years interns have enjoyed a special Q&A with John Allison, former chief executive officer and chairman of BB&T Corporation, and meetings with ARI executive director Yaron Brook.
Complementing the educational program is an office-work component in which interns spend two to three hours each day assisting members of ARI and being mentored on the ins and outs of working in a professional setting.
Through a variety of activities in support of ARI’s Education and Research Division, interns hone their communication, research, and technical skills, and gain valuable experience to strengthen their resumes and apply in their careers. During the office-work component of the program, past ARI interns have participated in the development of marketing materials, engaged in beta testing and assessment of online courses, conducted research support for ARI policy analysts and instructors, managed and analyzed data, and more.
Here’s a sample daily schedule for an ARI summer intern:
Class: Atlas Shrugged; Topic: Galt’s speech
Faculty-led small-group discussions; topics: law; Rand’s novels; economics; morality; business
Class: liberty; topic: Rand’s defense of freedom versus that of Smith, Hayek, and Friedman
Professional development mini-seminar; Topic: Meeting standards and expectations
Weekends are left free for interns to explore one of the world’s most beautiful areas. Irvine abounds with hiking and biking trails and is a short distance from Southern California’s famous beaches. Los Angeles and San Diego are easily accessible by car and train.
See the intern testimonials at right for firsthand accounts of the value of the program from past interns. You can also read more about the program in the Ayn Rand Institute’s newsletter, Impact.
Complete applications must be received by March 31. All complete applications will receive a free Ayn Rand book!
Application Deadline: March 31, 2013
All three components of the application must be received by the application deadline.
Duration: June 3–June 21, 2013
Location: Ayn Rand Institute, Irvine, California
Schedule: 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Monday–Friday
Scholarship Grant: $1,200
Travel Stipend: $500
Other Benefits: Set of Ayn Rand books, lunch provided daily
Accommodations: It is the intern’s responsibility to make all transportation and housing arrangements.
College Credit: Some of our interns have received college credit for participating in the program. Whether participation in the internship qualifies for credit is dependent on the policies of an intern’s college or university.
Eligibility and restrictions:
The internship is open to university undergraduates and recent high school and college graduates.
The program is targeted primarily at students who are new to Ayn Rand’s ideas. We consider and accept applicants from every academic discipline.
Students must be 18 years or older to participate.
Applicants must have a legal right to work in the United States to participate in the program. ARI is unable to sponsor visas for the internship.
“The ARI internship is an incredibly unique and
dynamic program. I don’t know of any
other organization that offers anything like this. No matter what subjects
you’re interested in or what you plan to pursue professionally, I guarantee you
that this program will benefit you and offer you insights that will stick with
you intellectually, professionally, and personally.”
“I had the greatest time while I was here.
Everyone was friendly and approachable, and I learned way more than I could
have imagined. My only disappointment is that it was only three weeks long.”
“This program was incredibly valuable and life
changing. The classes were interesting and engaging; the lecturers were
personable, professional, and knowledgeable; the work sessions were engaging
“I came to California expecting to have a really great experience;
I didn’t know that it was going to be a
life-changing experience. The ideas you learn here are so great and
glorious, and the people you meet embody those ideas. I have made connections
that I know will last the rest of my life, and only in three weeks. The program
is a very rewarding experience and should definitely be considered by anyone
interesting in living life.”
“I did not
anticipate being able to spend so much time with the academic instructors.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the academics were willing and happy to
converse with the interns.”
“I absolutely loved this experience and am extremely
grateful for the opportunity ARI provided us to learn more about this
philosophy and ourselves. Everyone in the office was very welcoming.”
“These have been some of the best weeks of my life so
far! The people, the content, and the location just made every day that much
more awesome than the previous day.”
“No matter where your studies or interests lie, an internship at ARI is an extremely valuable and rewarding experience. If you are at all interested in philosophy, politics, literature, or Ayn Rand, you stand to benefit. . . . Even if your experience with Rand is minimal, you will come out of here smarter and more prepared to face the world.”
“I can honestly say that I learned more information that can be applied to my life in the past three weeks as an intern at ARI than I have in the last year at the university.”
“The internship exceeded my expectations for several reasons. Not only did we receive financial aid to be taught, but we were given an actual quality education coupled with a skillset for the business world. The guest presenters and Q&As were phenomenal, and having a connection to people really engineering our world in the intellectual arena was very satiating.”
“At every turn in the assigned readings I was uncovering gems of ideas and knowledge, all of which were different from what I’m used to in the university setting. The ability to diversify and explore new interests was a larger part of why my expectations were exceeded. I was not expecting it.”
“ARI’s internship program is a unique and mentally uplifting experience. I really enjoyed the constant exposure to new ideas from both the Objectivist experts and my peers.”
“If you are interested in Ayn Rand’s ideas and want to pursue them seriously—apply. The experience allowed me to see the connections between ideas that I had studied disparately on my own, ask questions, and interact with top-notch instructors and other students of Objectivism. This is not an experience that is—or can be—replicated on campus.”
“This internship is great for anyone who wants to seriously study the principles of Objectivism. The program is led by great facilitators and the world’s preeminent Rand scholars. I gained much from participating in this program, including lifelong friends.”
“The vitality and quality of the discussion between peers and mentors greatly exceeded my expectations. Passionate, intelligent students from a wide variety of fields made it easy to expand my views on many different topics.”
“I would recommend the program to college students of any major, age, and philosophical background who are interested in understanding and exploring Rand’s philosophy.”
Where are they now?
ARI’s internship program can serve as a springboard for success in one’s life and career. Here is what some of our past interns have gone on to do:
Dakin S. (2009)
Dakin graduated from Stanford University in 2011 with a major in mathematics and minors in physics and philosophy. He sits on the board of California Common Sense, a nonprofit organization that seeks to make government more transparent, effective and efficient. He is also the founding CEO of Delphi Solutions, Inc., a Silicon Valley-based company that develops user-friendly, intelligent software to help improve government transparency and performance.
Isabela graduated from the University of Alabama
in 2012 with a BA in history and American studies. She is currently pursuing
her PhD in history at Princeton University.
Brandon W. (2011)
Brandon graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2011 with a BS in economics and moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he was the assistant director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. In May 2012, he joined the ARI staff as the academic programs coordinator, working on ARI’s programs for college professors and students.
Miranda G. (2011)
After earning her BA in economics with a double minor in French and theatre from the University of Southern California in 2012, Miranda moved to Houston, Texas where she is a 4th-grade teacher through the Teach for America program.
Damos A. (2012)
After interning at ARI in the summer of 2012, Damos returned to
North Carolina to start his MBA at East Carolina University. Citing his
experience at ARI, Damos also applied for and received a position as a Graduate
Assistant at ECU.