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Summer Internship in Los Angeles

THE OPPORTUNITY

Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3) is looking for a graduate-level Intern for the summer of 2020. This is a full-time position in our Los Angeles office, generally lasting 8-12 weeks depending upon the Intern’s school schedule and availability.

THE COMPANY

FM3 has specialized in public policy-oriented opinion research since 1981 and offers a wide range of opinion research, communications strategy and consulting services to assist political candidates (Democratic or non-partisan), ballot measure committees, private sector corporations, non-profit organizations and government agencies. (In other words, we’re political pollsters, but we conduct a wide variety of non-political opinion research as well.)

Our 25-person company (with offices in Oakland and Los Angeles) conducts as many as 300 surveys and 150 focus groups each year, focusing on issues of major economic and social concern, including environmental quality; natural resource conservation; clean and renewable energy development; transportation planning and finance; health care; education; public finance; drug reform policy; growth and property development; and the implications of public policy for groups such as people of color, children and seniors. Sample clients include The Nature Conservancy, The California Endowment, Alameda County’s StopWaste, BART, Drug Policy Alliance and the San Francisco 49ers.

Examples of our recent work during the November 2018 election cycle included helping send Kyrsten Sinema, Tammy Baldwin, and Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate and eight Democrats to the House; defeat the gas tax repeal, pass a $4 billion housing bond, and pass a $4 billion parks and water bond in California; legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan and medical marijuana in Missouri and Utah. Additionally, FM3’s research helped pass important local finance measures, including $6.4 billion in 12 school districts across California; a nine-county Bay Area-wide measure to finance $4.5 billion in highway and transit improvements; and other local funding measures for services like schools, community colleges, road repair, public safety, parks and libraries for more than 50 communities.

WHAT FM3 INTERNS LEARN

  • The differences between quantitative and qualitative research and when to use each type
  • How opinion research is used in the real-world (or at least our world)
  • The limitations of opinion research (i.e., what it can and can’t tell us)
  • FM3’s client categories and how we approach the market and position ourselves
  • How to structure and write surveys
  • How to structure and write focus group discussion guides
  • How to analyze and communicate research results/findings

RESPONSIBILITIES

FM3 Interns generally have their time divided into two different categories—directly supporting research projects and conducting guided research on topics related to the field of opinion research.

In the first category, FM3 Interns work collaboratively with senior members of FM3’s research team to support election-oriented clients, and public- and private-sector entities in informing and influencing public policy.  This position is a great opportunity for graduate students who are interested in pursuing a career in public policy and politics, providing a chance to participate in policy decisions, and develop a richer understanding of high-profile political campaigns at the local, state and national level.

Within this category, specific responsibilities of the Intern position will include, but are not limited to:

  • Conducting background research to inform survey questionnaire and focus group discussion guide design
  • Reviewing and finalizing research survey questionnaires for appropriate formatting and optimization for various research methods (i.e., telephone, online, mail, etc.)
  • Summarizing Census and voter database information to help structure survey samples
  • Reviewing and categorizing verbatim survey responses into thematic groups
  • Preparing focus group materials and reviewing verbatim transcripts
  • Working with FM3’s researchers and data processing team to develop cross-tabulated survey results
  • Working with FM3’s researchers and Graphics Team on presentations of survey results
  • Drafting research proposals/scopes of work
  • Editing and proofreading proposals, memos and presentations
  • Observing focus groups, presentations to public agencies, and client briefings (sometimes in the evenings)
  • Keeping abreast of pertinent policy issues and changes in the local, state and federal political landscapes
  • Contributing to the FM3’s evolving methodological approaches to opinion research
  • Assisting and supporting FM3 researchers as necessary, to ensure excellent client service.

REQUIREMENTS

  • Some first-hand experience with electoral politics and public policy issues is desired
  • Prior exposure to quantitative and qualitative opinion research
  • Strong quantitative and qualitative analytical skills, with an attention to detail
  • Excellent writing and verbal skills
  • Bachelor’s degree required and typically enrollment in a graduate-level program
  • A high level of proficiency with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel
  • Candidates must have a strong character, ability to excel in a dynamic team environment, and a commitment to delivering exceptional client service, given that our work environment requires interdisciplinary problem solving, often on compressed timelines

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

$20-$25 per hour, depending upon experience and education.  However, as a seasonal job, Interns are not eligible health benefits, the company’s 401(k), and other full-time employee benefits.

HOW TO APPLY

Send resume and cover letter (as a single document) to resume@fm3research.com with the subject line “FM3 2020 Summer Intern.”  Be sure to include details on where you heard about this position in your cover letter.

FM3 is committed to diversity in its workforce. FM3 is an equal opportunity employer and ensures the promotion of equal opportunity for all persons employed or seeking employment, without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability status. Potential employees reflecting California’s diversity are encouraged to apply.

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