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OCA Internship Program Overview
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“Asian Pacific American Roots, Movement and Progress”




The OCA Internship Program is one of OCA's signature student leadership development programs. Celebrating its 26th year in 2015, the OCA Internship Program seeks to cultivate future leadership by providing students from all over the country with the opportunity to be involved in the political process through a national organization.

The program has successfully led past interns to become more active on their college campus and increased the presence of the APA community in local, state, and federal governments. OCA intern alumni have become executive directors, legislative staffers, OCA National Executive Council members, and are leaders in the private and public sector. Internship placements are available year-round at the OCA National Center, where students work on OCA's program areas as well as assist with communications and development.

In addition to connecting interns with the APA community and developing their leadership skills, OCA also brings its summer interns to the OCA National Convention, the largest APA conference in the country. The 2015 national convention will be in San Francisco, CA from July 2-5! The convention will feature speakers, entertainment, workshops, and our signature gala.

The 26th annual OCA Internship Program is generously sponsored by the Walmart Foundation, the Coca-Cola Foundation, the Comcast Foundation, William & Sinforosa Tan Kaung Internship Endowment Fund, and Mary Ann & Paul C. Yu Internship Fund.   








All are welcome to apply. 

First generation college students and students of Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, South Asian, and Southeast Asian descent are highly encouraged to apply.


PURPOSE: To cultivate future leadership for the Asian Pacific American (APA) community by providing opportunities to work in the public sector and learn about issues affecting APAs. Based in the nation's capital, interns will learn to build relationships, meet with legislative officials, and engage in weekly leadership development workshops.



During their time at OCA, interns are placed in various governmental and partner organizations, including non-profit organizations and corporations. Interns will be supervised and given projects that will expose interns to public policy decisions. If you have any questions, please contact Program Associate Jon Ho at

  • OCA National: Work in the OCA National office in Washington DC and learn about OCA's impact in the community. 
  • Non-Profit: Engage with one of our partners in Washington, DC and learn how they serve the APA community.
  • Government: Learn about policy making through hands on experience in a federal agency. 
  • Congressional: Gain experience in a congressional office and participate in the legislative process.   



Sama Sama is a mandatory weekly leadership class coordinated by OCA with the help of various national APA community partners. Introduced in 2011, it addresses various APA issues affecting the community and includes team-building activities, identity development, and leadership development. It also provides a space for interns to facilitate discussion on issues impacting them and their community. A crucial keystone of the internship program, Sama Sama provides a safe space for the intern class to grow personally and professionally with each other.




  Application Deadline Internship Period
 Fall  August 12  September 28 - December 4
Spring  February 5  March 28 - June 3
Summer  February 26  June 12 - August 18

 *Note that deadlines are subject to change - check back for the most updated information.

The week after the application deadline, applications undergo a review and paper cut process. Phone interviews are typically conducted approximately two weeks after the application deadline - final candidates are notified the week after. For more specific questions or concerns about the application timeline, please contact Program Manager Jon Ho at or 202.223.5500.


Accepted interns are required to find their own housing in Washington, DC for the duration of their internship. OCA encourages interns to find housing together to reduce costs. Furthermore, many former interns say that living together was one of the best parts of their summer internship experience. There are many affordable summer sublets and apartments available in the DC Metro area. Please see the summer housing guide for more information.



Interns receive $2,500 for 10 weeks of full-time work. This stipend is distributed in three to four installments over the course of the program. 

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