How does this work?
We offer one-time, off-the-record seminars taught by people like Jeff Flake, James Carville, and Cecile Richards. Head to our “Seminars” page and fill out a short application for each of the seminars you’re interested in attending. Each seminar is capped at 15 students, and we let you know about a week before the seminar whether we can offer you a spot.
What are the seminar topics?
Each seminar is a little different, but all of them focus on political practice—not policy or philosophy. Topics have included: How do I run for office as a first-time candidate? How do I convince a member of Congress to vote for a bill? How do I negotiate with a president? Generally, each seminar starts out with a candid discussion with our guest. We often finish with an interactive exercise—students have edited presidential addresses, written political ads, participated mock labor negotiations, asked questions in a mock committee hearing, and prepared for a mock presidential debate.
Check out this CNN article about a recent YPI seminar!
How do I get involved?
The best way to get involved is to attend our seminars! Head to the “Seminars” section of our website and submit applications for the ones you’re interested in attending. You can also sign up for our panlist under the “Get Updates” part of our website.
We occasionally hire student workers—if you’re interested in working for YPI, sign up for our panlist so you’ll be the first to know the next time we’re hiring.
Do I need to be a political science major to apply?
No! Students who attend our seminars have a wide range of experiences and interests. We welcome everyone from first years to law students, political newcomers to political junkies. No experience is required.
What are the criteria for acceptance to a seminar?
We are primarily looking for students with specific, well-informed questions for our guests. We are also looking for students with a wide range of backgrounds and interests—anyone is qualified to apply for our seminars. We try to make sure that as many students as possible get to participate in our seminars, so feel free to apply for as many as you’d like—you won’t be taking someone else’s spot.
All you have to do to apply is tell us who you are and what three questions you would ask in the seminar. Make sure you know a bit about the guest before you apply, and that the questions you submit couldn’t just as easily be asked of another guest!
Are you affiliated with a party?
No, we are a nonpartisan organization. Our guests come from across the political spectrum, because we believe that it’s valuable to learn from people with whom we disagree. Our classes aren’t focused on ideology. They’re focused on political practice—on developing the skills necessary to win campaigns, pass legislation, and spark movements.