Federal Volunteer Internships

University Career Services processes agreements for students who have been offered Federal volunteer internships.  Students must be enrolled at least part-time at Mason to participate.

Finding Internships

  • Search for internships through the Handshake job database
  • Schedule an appointment with an Industry Advisor in Career Services to help you direct your search. Call 703-993-2370
  • Career Shift searches every career site and job board. Users can search by job title, company name, keywords, or location. Relevant jobs can be saved and organized by users.
  • USAJOBS Federal job search database. Once you set up an account, search under Advanced Search using keywords: Student Trainee or Pathways

Making the Most of Your Work Experience

An internship provides a good opportunity for you to make decisions about your future. An internship may confirm your chosen direction or you may learn that you would prefer a new direction. Using the guidelines below will enable you to make the most of your work experience.

Develop realistic learning objectives and plans for the experience.

Learning Objectives:

What do I want to learn from this experience?
What knowledge, skills, and abilities do I want to acquire?

Resources and Strategies:

What activities can I undertake to achieve the objectives?
What resources do I need?
What specific strategies can I use, and when can I accomplish this?


How will I know I have successfully accomplished the objectives?
What method of evaluation can I use?

Learn as much about the organization structure and operation as possible.

Keep your eyes and ears open.
Learn from the people, events and world around you.
Ask your supervisor for permission to sit-in on staff and other meetings.
Interview your co-workers and other employees at various levels.
Keep a journal of your experience.

Continually assess your function and how it impacts your learning objectives.

What are your job responsibilities?
How do the responsibilities complement what you are learning in class?
How do these responsibilities match/fit your personal objectives? How are you feeling about it?

Evaluate the career field, work environment and analyze the fit with your values.

Are the employees content in their work environment?
What is the typical salary range for various positions?
Who are the leaders in your organization? Who makes things happen?
How is the information processed in the organization?
How do people find out what they need to know in order to make decisions?
What supervisory style does your supervisor use with you? How does that work for you?

Be professional

Arrive on time and dress appropriately.
Accomplish tasks or projects that you and your supervisor choose.
Communicate with your supervisor openly, particularly if you encounter problems.
Abide by company rules and policies.
Honor the terms which you agreed upon, including starting and ending dates.

Application Packet

Federal Volunteer Internships