Weldon Cooper: Center for Economic and Policy Studies


Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia


The mission of the  Cooper Center  is to leverage the research, expertise, and resources of the University to strenghten effective governance, inform public policy, develop ethical and effective leaders, and deliver strategic and technical assistance throughout the state.


Professor William Shobe, Director


Pursuant to the mission of the Weldon Cooper Center, this internship will offer the student the opportunity to conduct and communicate real-world research and analysis endeavors that are focused on informing and influencing public policy matters. Under the mentorship of Professor William Shobe, Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Studies, the work may focus on economic and/or climate change and renewable energy issues.

Career Development 

This internship will prepare intern for careers in any of the following

  • Government,
  • Academic and research administration
  • Advocacy and Policy
  • Consulting
  • Outreach, Communication and Publishing 


The Center for Economic and Policy Studies has a number of upcoming projects. We would work with the student to match them with the project that best matches their skills and interests and provides the most opportunity for growth in their desired focus area. One example of a project is the student would serve as a consultant to the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget to map and analyze drivers of state expenditures, policies, services, clients, and outcomes and recommend a proposed reorganization of the presentation of information that would be transparent and comprehensible to the public.

Skills Development

This internship will provide experiences to develop and polish the following skills

  • Communicating to diverse audience

  • Problem-solving and Analytical

  • Data Literacy and fluency

  • Project Management and Leadership

  • Thought leadership and innovation

Mentoring Plan

Professor William Shobe will mentor the student. Learning goals and outcomes would be developed and determined with the student, but some goal and learning outcomes could be: 

  • The student learns how to conduct and communicate research and policy analysis in manner that has impact and will influence their audience. 
  • The student has the opportunity to expand and apply academic skills and knowledge while developing professional skills such as project management and communication.
  •  The student gains exposure to a non-academic career path in Economics.

Desired Qualities

Students from Economics or related disciplines are encouraged to apply.  Data literacy, public policy, javascript or coding experience would all be helpful.

Duration and Effort

We would expect the intern to commit to two terms (either Summer and Fall of 2020 or Fall 2020 and Spring 2021). During the summer, the internship expects an average of twenty hours per week. During the academic year, the internship expects an average of ten hours per week. These are broad guidelines, we are willing to work with the student to meet their needs.


$25 per hour in wages provided by Center for Economic and Policy Studies