Getting paid to learn, making important professional connections, and transitioning to your desired permanent employment are just a few of the reasons to become an intern. Government internships programs can offer you all those benefits and more. There are over two hundred federal jobs for interns plus numerous internships in each of the fifty states. Some programs are for undergraduate or graduate students, while others are for those who have already earned their degree.
Pursuing an internship is not-unlike applying for any job. Build an impressive resume. Demonstrate that your communication skills are a cut above the rest. Impress the agency with your ability to be both a leader and a team player; creativity and resourcefulness are also desirable qualities for interns. Proficiency in a language such as Spanish or Japanese is a real plus. Finally, being able to relocate will put your application near the top of the pile.
Find federal government internships on general employment websites.
There are several ways to find out about internships. Search the Internet and use key words government internships to learn about specific programs, location, and eligibility. There are many types of federal programs you can choose. The Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) is a summer or short term position where interns get paid. The Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) uses interns in the United States Department of Defense. The Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP) is a two year appointment for talented students—your individual talents must match their requirements. The Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF) is considered to be a very prestigious two year program in Washington D.C. They placed 792 students last year. The Washington Internship Program and the Washington Semester both offer college credit.
Find government internships through the specific government agency that interests you.
Since the government internship program is decentralized, you may be smart to apply through the specific agency that interests you, such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). You then choose your subject of interest such as accounting and budgeting. Their websites list available internships and application requirements.
An internship with the Department of Homeland Security sounds fascinating. It is a nine week summer program from June to August. Students need a minimum grade point average of 3.0. College juniors, seniors and graduate students who are U.S. citizens, majoring in International Relations or Political Science or related major, who have studied or worked abroad, are eligible. You get all expenses paid with full room and board at George Washington University and transferable college credits. You could be working at the Office of Homeland Security or at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Get online or ask someone at your university about these programs.
Find state government internship programs in the location where you want to work.
Use key words, such as New Hampshire government internships, to find information and job listings. In Colorado, the Office of Information Technology (IT) has exciting internships. This office is the hub of state management and business with interns working approximately sixteen hours per week, leaving left over time for skiing. Also, many universities offer intern programs.
There’s no good reason not to become a government intern. But, before applying for a federal or state internship program, be sure to ask many questions. You will want to know about getting paid, transferable college credits, housing, transportation, licenses and background checks. If you know of someone who has done an internship with one of these programs, ask them to provide the testimonial that you need to help decide if interning is right for you and which program to select. As a government intern you could be a part of history.