The Best Internship EVER: How and Why You Should Apply for the Alcuin Internship

Patience Griswold | February 22, 2019

The Best Internship EVER: How and Why You Should Apply for the Alcuin Internship

A glance out my window right now shows me a winter wonderland of record amounts of snow. It’s very pretty, but also bears an alarming resemblance to the apocalyptic Fimbulwinter in Norse mythology that ushers in the end of the world. Such scenes make summer seem a long way off, but the truth is, the time for summer internship applications is upon us!

Last summer I had the opportunity to be a part of the best internship EVER, along with five other young people from around the country. This summer is your chance to be one of ten Alcuin Interns at the Charlemagne Institute and gain experience writing for Intellectual Takeout’s national audience.

Not Just an Internship

There are plenty of internships out there that are just internships. Not so the Alcuin internship.

Alcuin interns receive professional mentorship in writing for a national audience, as well as training in business etiquette, networking, and growth opportunities in support of a nonprofit engaged in the Battle of Ideas. Interns will witness and experience the heritage of the West through organized tours of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Cathedral of St. Paul, and the James J. Hill House.

Alcuin Interns will also have a mentor who makes better coffee than Starbucks, which is always a plus.

An Opportunity for Intellectual Formation

The Alcuin Internship kicks off with a five-day “Intellectual Bootcamp,” an exciting week of exploring ideas, learning about the cultural heritage of the West, getting to know the other interns, and getting lost in IKEA. For the rest of the summer, one day each week is reserved for seminars with thought-leaders from around the country, discussing topics like virtue, the history of conservatism, the roots of the Western intellectual tradition, and Christianity’s role in shaping the West.

Please note: These used to be known as Ideas Education Days. Although this sounds like something out of 1984, I can assure you that it is not. It’s much more like the Hunger Games.

How to Apply:

Right now, the Charlemagne Institute is taking applicants for the 2019 Alcuin Internship, a paid, full-time opportunity from June 3-August 9 based out of our headquarters in Bloomington, MN.

Assistance in setting up temporary housing is available for non-Minnesota residents. 

If you are interested, email John Elliott at with your full application or with any questions about the program. The deadline for applications is March 15, 2019.

Your application must include:

1.  Cover letter: Please include why you are applying for the internship.

2.  A resume with education and work history.

3.  One writing sample of 500-700 words. Extra notice will be taken of those samples written in the style of Intellectual Takeout. (Hint: Studying articles under “Greatest Hits” on the ITO website will be helpful. This article will become the property of ITO.)

4. An additional writing sample of any length, in any format of your choice: newspaper article, blog post, magazine article, school paper, or an article written for this application.

5.  Answer the following three essay questions:  (Please limit your answers to 350 words per question)

  • Which five persons and/or books have been your important intellectual influences? (Please do not list parents, grandparents, or coaches.)  
  • What is the greatest threat to Western Civilization and how can it best be countered?  
  • What is the relationship between freedom of religion and freedom of commerce?

We look forward to hearing from you!


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