GAO’s Internship Experience

Posted on August 12, 2014
[Update (9/12/2018): GAO is currently accepting applications from undergraduate and graduate students for paid internships. These and all of our current opportunities are on USAJobs.] As summer’s barbecues and beach days wind down, so do the experiences of a select group of graduate and undergraduate students in GAO’s Student Intern Program. We talked to some of them about their experiences. Student interns are hired to contribute to our teams and gain experience in the roles of analysts, program staff, or technical staff. Our paid summer interns work with us for 10 to16 weeks. Interns learn GAO policies and procedures, audit and evaluation methods, and other skills and knowledge necessary to fulfill the agency’s mission. Intern experiences vary, but all interns have the opportunity to learn about and contribute to our work. Here’s a look at some examples of typical activities in the schedule of a GAO analyst intern:
  • Document yesterday’s team interview with federal agency officialsintern1
  • Attend a Capitol Hill hearing where a GAO director is providing testimony before a Senate committee
  • Participate in a Brownbag Lunch Session on a topic relevant to his or her work
  • Meet with GAO team members and stakeholders to design a new project to respond to a congressional request
  • Attend Q&A forum for interns to learn from senior executives across the organization about working at GAO
  • Sign off for the day and go for a run at GAO’s Fitness Center
We talked to some of our 2014 summer interns to get their perspectives on the experience. intern2One intern told us, “I feel very welcomed by everyone at GAO [and that] I am an equal contributing member of my team. I have been able to gather background research, assist with audit interviews, and was involved in the preparation of a testimony report, which I’ll get to see delivered by my director at a congressional hearing.” A second intern liked, “being at the intersection of policy making on the Hill and making sure our public policy works as Congress and the American people need it to.” A third intern highlighted the work environment and the job duties, saying “the people are welcoming, helpful, and easygoing…and [I’ve had] the opportunity to use the technical skills I’ve learned in school and apply them in a new way.” Many of our summer student internships are drawing to a close, but you can read more about our year-round Student Internship Program.