Students & Career Paths

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Student Volunteers and Paid Internships

Paid Internships

Student intern positions are available year-round in all GAO mission teams, operational units, and offices. Our interns work between 400 and 640 total hours. 

To be eligible for an internship, students must be enrolled in a college or university, on at least a half-time basis as determined by their college or university. Student interns are appointed on a nonpermanent basis and may be eligible to be converted to a permanent position after completing 400 total hours and after meeting degree requirements. These internships are open to both graduate and undergraduate students. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all of our internships are currently being conducted virtually. 

GAO Interns
Interns

Student Volunteers (Unpaid)

Student volunteer positions are available throughout the year in all GAO mission teams, operational units, and offices. To be eligible, students must be at least 16 years old, a U.S. citizen, enrolled in and/or attending an accredited academic institution such as a high school or college, at least half-time, and in good academic standing. Student volunteers may volunteer during the school year and/or during summer or school vacation periods. The nature of the volunteer assignment, as well as the work schedule, will be established once on-board. 

Any questions about the Student Employment program should be sent to studentprogram@gao.gov.

Our Employees Say It’s All About the People
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Our Employees Say It’s All About the People

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Professional Development Program (PDP)

During the first two years with GAO, entry-level employees are members of our Professional Development Program (PDP). This experience includes a combination of on-the-job and classroom training, regular feedback and coaching, and exposure to different projects and management styles. All members of the PDP regularly meet with advisors to identify professional goals, discuss developmental opportunities, and reinforce performance feedback. 

Entry-level employees are hired to participate in our PDP in one of three ways. They are hired either as: 

  1.  Specialist analysts or auditors assigned to one team to work on different projects within that team’s area or specialization such as Information Technology or Financial Management, 

  1.  Analysts assigned to rotate among several teams to work on studies of different subject areas--these staff are permanently placed after the 2-years into one of the rotation teams), or 

  1.  Management analysts or other operations professional staff assigned to one of our internal  operational units such as our Learning Center or Human Capital Office. 

Please send your questions about the PDP to pdpprogram@gao.gov

Advancement

Upon the completion or less than two years in the PDP program at the entry-level, opportunities for advancement and promotion may become available within or among mission teams or staff offices. In general, GAO conducts an annual promotion process each year during which employees may apply for analyst and specialist promotion opportunities. Additionally, promotion opportunities in our operations departments (i.e. Human Capital Office, Learning Center, etc.), Senior Executive Service (SES), and attorney positions are advertised on an ad-hoc basis. 

Aside from annual promotions, annual pay increases at GAO are based on job performance. All jobs are posted on USAJobs.gov

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Director Kris Nguyen Testifying
SES Director Kris Nguyen testifying.

 

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Director testifying.
SES Director Triana McNeil testifying. 

Executive Candidate Assessment and Development Program (ECADP)

The Executive Candidate Assessment and Development Program (ECADP) is designed to develop a talent pool of mid-level and senior employees for the SES level. Individuals often become directors and managing directors of GAO's mission teams and staff offices to support the agency's mission work and external strategic goals. 

Generally, the program lasts from 18 to 24 months, and will vary in length depending on the needs of the individual participant. Each candidate selected will work with a mentor who is a current SES member to develop the candidate's program curriculum based on the candidate's individual needs and assessment survey data. 

The Comptroller General determines whether additional executive candidate classes are necessary to meet future executive position needs. The program is open to anyone through a job opportunity announcement which identifies the evaluation criteria, i.e., professional and technical qualifications and executive core qualifications, and the selection procedures.