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Well-Paying, Dynamic Federal Internships and Special Recruitment Programs for Young Professionals

Well-Paying, Dynamic Federal Internships and Special Recruitment Programs for Young Professionals

Lily Whiteman | Federal Career Coach

One of the best kept secrets in government is that federal employers sponsor hundreds of well-paying, dynamic internship programs for students and young professionals. That’s right, even if you’re just starting your career, you don’t have to slave for free.

Federal internships are based all over the U.S. and available in virtually every field. The timing and duration of federal internships vary from program to program: some internships are held during the summer; some internships extend throughout the academic year; and some special management programs for young professionals last one or more years.

Here is a sample of programs:

• The Commission and Security and Cooperation in Europe: Students and recent grads spend one semester researching human rights, religious liberties, corruption and law, and free media; communicating with House and Senate offices about pending foreign policy initiatives; and assisting staff advisors with hearings and briefings; see http://www.csce.gov.

• Congressional Budget Office Internships: Summer positions in Washington, DC, available to undergrads and graduates of advanced degree programs in policy, economics, health analysis, and public administration. See http://cbo.gov.

• Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Corporate Employee Program: College grads participate in a three-year internship program, which includes an orientation, rotations, on-the-job training, opportunities to earn certifications, and other activities to become Financial Institution Specialists. Financial Institution Specialists evaluate the practices, international controls, and management of financial institutions and their compliance with consumer protection, fair lending, and civil rights laws. For more info, type the program name into the search window at http://www.fdic.gov.

• Federal Trade Commission: Entry-level lawyers, economists, and PhDs conduct research, educate consumers, and the business community and enforce laws in a fast-paced and challenging environment. See http://ftc.gov.

FBI Programs: Undergrads and grad students work with special agents on important cases in DC or forensics labs in Quantico, Virginia. One prestigious program recruits language students. See http://fbi.gov.

• Global Change Education Programs: Undergrads in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience spend multiple summers researching global change in U.S. labs and universities, and participate in professional development activities. The Graduate Research Environmental Fellowship Program supports grad students studying global change. See http://www.atmos.anl.gov/GCEP.

• John A. Volpe Transportation Internships: Grad students in engineering, science, and social science alternate periods of work and study, or continuously work part-time in a world-class lab in Cambridge, MA. Interns work side-by-side with transportation leaders and receive a salary plus travel and up to $10,000 for tuition. See http://www.volpe.dot.gov/.

• Justice Department Programs for Lawyers: A highly competitive summer program recruits law students. The Attorney General’s Honors Program recruits entry-level attorneys. See http://www.usdoj.gov.

• National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): The Undergraduate Student Research Program offers college graduates mentored internships at NASA facilities throughout the U.S. Most students work on projects that will be incorporated into aerospace and future missions. See http://www.epo.usra.edu/usrp. The Contracting Intern Program recruits college grads with business expertise. See http://ncip.nssc.nasa.gov. Find various other summer and year-round mentored internships, fellowships, and research positions at http://www.education.nasa.gov/edprograms/stdprograms/index.html#interships and http://www.nasajobs.nasa.gov/studentopps/employment/programs.htm. Also, type internships into the search window at http://NASA.gov and at http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov.

• National Cancer Institute Health Communications Internships: Grad students work on health communications projects for six months near Washington, DC. See http://internship.cancer.gov.

• National Gallery of Art Internships: Summer and year-round positions as curators, lecturers, and other positions in Washington, DC for college grads and grad students. See http://www.nga.gov.


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