UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — An online internship program administered through the federal government is now accepting applications for the 2020–21 program year. The application window is open from July 1–31. 

The Virtual Student Federal Service online internship program places interns with more than 40 federal agencies and is open to U.S. citizens who are full- or part-time degree- or certificate-seeking students, including Penn State World Campus students. Interns are expected to work 10 hours per week from September 2020 through May 2021. 

Since the 2016–17 program year, 25 World Campus students have secured VSFS internships, working for federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the National Science Foundation.  

Karen Armstrong, a career counselor for World Campus, said an online internship provides a great opportunity for students to showcase some of the unique skills they already exhibit through their course work. 

“World Campus students can demonstrate their skill and comfort with technology, especially in a time when so many people are needing to learn this and may not be as comfortable,” she said. "Technology is your space in your world. It's a great time to take that leadership role.” 

Selected VSFS interns can work on projects that advance governmental work, including helping counter violent extremism, strengthening human rights monitoring, developing virtual programs, and engaging in digital communications, mapping, economic and political reporting, data analysis, graphic design, and app building. 

World Campus student Faith Konidaris, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in security and risk analysis with a focus on information and cyber security, completed her internship in May with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Her work focused on researching 5G wireless technology and studying open-source intelligence and its applications for national defense. 

She said the internship was a great way to build her credentials and make connections. 

“You never know who you’re going to meet, who’s going to read your work, and what it may lead to,” Konidaris said. “Having a federal internship looks really awesome on your résumé, and you get to build connections that you may not get the chance to do at a smaller company.”