Watching national news come out of Washington, D.C. feels almost second nature. Press conferences, legislative decisions and national party happenings are just a few themes that make daily headlines; but have you ever wondered what else goes on behind the camera?
After spending the summer of 2017 interning at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., I was flooded with questions and comments such as “what did you really do there?” and “I never knew the federal government offered internships?” An internship with the federal government is not only prestigious but also informative, eye-opening and incredibly exciting. Never considered the opportunity? Here are four reasons why you should add a federal government internship to your potential application list!
Wide range of options.
Whenever someone thinks of the federal government, the FBI or CIA are the first to come to mind. While these are incredible internship spots, there are so many others to choose from. Interested in education? Look for positions in the U.S. Department of Education. Background in business and finance? Department of Treasury or Federal Housing Administration might be the place for you. Passion for political campaigns and strategies? The White House or U.S. Department of State Press Office could be the right fit. With hundreds of government agencies to choose from, the possibilities in the government sector are truly endless.
Public relations major with a minor in psychology? Communications and political science double major? Spanish major with a minor in communications? Business major with an emphasis in international affairs? Great news — you’re qualified! One of the best things about an internship with the federal government is the options and needs are virtually endless. In many cases, you will be working with various topics where your knowledge in unique areas will be tested and needed for the success of your organization.
Because of its size, melting pot of professionals and vast number of public and private sector headquarters, the networking in D.C. can’t be beat. Many supervisors or colleagues will be happy to connect you to their friends or former colleagues in your field of interest, allowing relationships to form outside of a specific organization.
While most government internships are unpaid, you are earning serious resume prestige. Federal government internships are not only incredibly competitive but many also require passing a security clearance as a requirement for the role. Handling sensitive documents, being
privy to private meetings and tagging along to high-security events are just some of the responsibilities as an intern in the federal government. Showing that you are responsible and trustworthy with sensitive material will impress employers in any field.
Interested in a front row seat to all of the action? Visit www.usajobs.gov to find a listing of potential internships for fall 2018 and spring/summer 2019!
Kensington Wieland is a senior at Lee University, studying public relations. She serves as secretary of her University’s PRSSA Chapter. In her free time, she can be found reading, running or searching for the town’s best taco.