Government Internships & Jobs

Career Information | Job & Internship | Get Involved

Interview Tips | Grad Student Info

Internship/Job Search Advice

  • Because not all federal agencies are not required to post their opportunities in one central place, use both USA jobs AND specific office and department websites to find opportunities.
  • In addition to government internships, consider opportunities not technically in government (i.e., lobbying groups, non-profit interest groups, and think tanks).
  • It is acceptable and common for resumes being submitted for federal positions to exceed the typical one-page limit.
  • Application materials may consist of more than a cover letter and resume.  Be prepared to write essay responses and provide letters of reference and/or writing samples.
  • In general, if you are interested in a government job or internship, apply early as these have very competitive opportunities. 
  • Be advised that some governmental organizations have a November application deadline for internships (based on competitiveness and /or the need for security clearance). 
  • If you are applying to a non-government organization, it is more common to see opportunities throughout the year.

Sample Internship /Job Titles of NU Students/Alumni:

  • Public Service Intern, City of Chicago Department of Buildings
  • Young Professional Program: Economic Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Policy Associate, Business Forward
  • Research Assistant, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)
  • Fellow

For more information on career paths:

  • Gogovernment.org - A non-profit charged with promoting federal government jobs. The site includes descriptions of federal jobs, tips for applying, and assessing you fit.
  • City of Chicago - Wide range of city jobs and internships
  • Cook County - County government jobs and internships

Job Search Resources

USAjobs - main job and internship job posting site for the federal government. Most jobs are posted here
Idealist - Non-profit and NGO posting site that often has policy positions posted
Students and recent graduates - Link to the Pathways program for jobs in the Federal Government. Also visible on the USAjobs page
Policy Jobs - Domestic and international Policy jobs
American Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management - Professional association for Public Policy

Additional Entry level Position Information

Pathways is a federal government program that offers direct routes to internships, entry level positions, and entry level fellowships. This program is perfect for current NU students to upcoming graduates to graduate students. Pathways was designed as a better way of securing and on-boarding current students and recent graduates.

Internships and Fellowships can be found at all levels of government and can lead to full-time positions. Here are links to internship program beyond the Federal government’s Pathways program.

Sample Resumes

Deadlines and Timeline for Government Internships/Fellowships

Please refer to the Government Deadline and Fellowships handout (PDF)