Summer internships can help kick off career in federal service

Published March 12, 2018

With the calendar only recently flipping to March, and the sound of rain drops dancing atop our rooftops and frosty temperatures still a part of everyday life, the prospect of sun-filled summer days can feel a ways off. Not so for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District, which has its eyes set to June and the prospect of fresh-faced interns joining the team for a few months.

The term ‘intern’ can be deceiving. For the Corps, these aren’t the summer students the imagination brings to mind, brought on simply to make copies and redo the filing system. No, the Corps is looking for something a little bit different.

The internship program offers students currently attending a college, trade school or other qualifying educational institution, or recent high school graduates who have an acceptance letter to begin school at a qualifying institution, with a paid opportunity to experience firsthand the tasks and projects conducted by the Corps and the Sacramento District. On top of that, students may even be eligible to apply for an extended student position, through the school year, and kick off a career in federal service.

Last year, the Sacramento District hired 10 summer interns. For many, they began working in June and their job ended by the end of September, after most schools have returned for their fall term. In the fall, student positions lasting up to a full year were advertised. Four of the summer interns were hired for those positions and continue to work for the Corps now as they carry on with their education.

Andra Homer, chief of finance and accounting for the Sacramento District, says the program has greatly benefitted her team.

“[Our student’s] efforts save tax payer dollars and support project execution by ensuring our external customers are paid timely. He’s reviewed $24 million worth of invoices and receiving reports, and cleared variances to expedite disbursement minimizing the risk of paying interest.”

Homer adds that the program truly provides a win-win for both the agency and the student.

“I would encourage other organizations to utilize students to identify potential candidates with unique educational skillsets to add value to the Corps mission. Additionally, with our coaching and mentoring students can experience public service while making a positive difference to our civilian and military customers.”

If you’re interested in applying for a student position, internships will be available throughout the Sacramento District offices. Advertisements for 2018 summer intern positions are available at now. Just search for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Sacramento, California.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employs nearly 34,000 civilians around the globe. While U.S. Army is in the name, and some of the agency’s leaders are uniformed Army officers, the majority of the workforce is civilian based. There’s not a requirement to enlist or join the military.


Have you recently received your degree or certificate and disappointed the summer intern program can no longer help you? For individuals who have graduated within the last two years from a qualified education institution, the Corps also hires through a similar program called the Recent Graduates program. For more information on both unique hiring paths, visit the Pathways section on the USAJobs web site: