Have you ever considered applying for internships with the U.S. Department of State, EPA, NASA, USAID, or another major federal agency? Do you face the common challenge of juggling a school-year internship with your UCLA class schedule? Are you a First-year, Sophomore, or Transfer Bruin eager to build your marketable skills for competitive 2018 internships?
If any of the above statements describes your interests, please consider applying for the U.S. Department of State Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) before the July 26 deadline! VSFS invites Bruins to work from campus, home, or study abroad locations on a flexible schedule. Interns contribute their skills to meaningful projects for one of 33 federal government agencies.
This unique ‘e-Internship’ program was established by former Secretary of State Clinton in 2009. One goal in creating VSFS was to open federal career pathways for more college students who may not have the time or resources to intern in Washington, D.C., or at embassies abroad. Based on the experiences of interns and employers, VSFS has now grown to include over 1,300 project-based internships with 33 federal agencies. Here for your reference are key facts and a guide on the steps to apply.
VIRTUAL STUDENT FOREIGN SERVICE (VSFS): KEY FACTS FOR UCLA CANDIDATES
- For 2017-2018, VSFS offers over 1,300 internship positions spanning 524 intern projects with 33 federal government agencies.
- E-Internship assignments allow Bruins to work on a flexible schedule from campus, home, or a study-abroad location – which may minimize any conflicts with classroom hours.
- UCLA students from all class levels and majors – including first-year Bruins and graduate students – are encouraged to apply!
- School-year internships are unpaid and require a consistent commitment of 10 hours per week from September 2017 through May 2018.
- Prospective e-interns must think carefully about their availability for the entire school year, including mid-term weeks and finals weeks.
- E-Interns discuss their projects via phone or video chat with mentors/supervisors on a regular basis.
- Many projects are seeking students with skills in writing, research, communications, social media, graphic design, and foreign languages.
- VSFS assignments do require U.S. citizenship, but do not require interns to pass a security clearance.
- Many VSFS internships have an international focus, but many others orient to U.S. domestic policy.
- VSFS internships are a convenient way to build experience, earn a recommendation, and strengthen qualifications for future paid federal jobs and internships!
HOW TO APPLY FOR A VSFS INTERNSHIP
- Select up to three target internship projects that fit your skills and interests from the list at: https://vsfs.state.gov/projects#all-projs-tab.
- You may choose your projects based on the agency’s mission, the skills required, or relevance to your UCLA major.
- Review these VSFS application instructions (hint: it may help to print out the instructions): https://vsfs.state.gov/how-to-apply.
- Create your account on USAJOBS.GOV.
- Access the VSFS general internship listing at: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/471416100.
- Upload or build your resume on USAJOBS.GOV.
- Upload your transcript and statement of interest.
- Click on the "Apply Online" button.
- Submit your application before 6:00PM PDT on July 26.
- Here’s the list of all 524 VSFS Projects for 2017-2018: https://vsfs.state.gov/projects#all-projs-tab
- Here’s a spreadsheet of UCLA Majors which highlights potential VSFS projects (but be sure to do your own project review!)
- This research was prepared for you by the Career Center’s Internship Research Analyst student team
- VSFS Application link on USAJOBS.GOV: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/471416100
- VSFS Facebook Page (frequent updates): https://www.facebook.com/VSFSatState/
- VSFS FAQ’s: https://vsfs.state.gov/faq#student_faqs
DID YOU DECIDE TO APPLY? HAVE QUESTIONS? WE WANT TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE!
- If you are applying for VSFS this year, please send an email noting the three internships you chose to our Career Center team at: email@example.com. We will follow up with you to learn about your VSFS experience.
- Application Questions? You can contact the VSFS Team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VSFSatState/
- Career Center Questions? Contact us at email@example.com
- Best wishes and good luck to all Bruins who apply!
FINALLY, HERE’S A 2017 PROGRAM UPDATE, SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS, AND CONTACT INFO FROM THE VSFS RECRUITING TEAM
The Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) is the largest virtual internship program in the world! This year there are more than 1,000 vacancies with more than 30 federal agencies. VSFS offers unique mentoring and exposure to job opportunities within the U.S. government.
Applications for the 2017-18 VSFS program are open between July 2 and 26 on USAJOBS.gov. Real experience is waiting for U.S. college students across the federal government, including NASA, Smithsonian, State Department, CIA, National Parks Service, and others. You can see the projects offered at http://vsfs.state.gov/ by clicking on “See All Projects” at the top! To apply, students must log on to USAJOBS, create an account, build a resume, and upload a transcript.
Students play an important role in moving the government forward. There’s something for everyone: graphic design, research, mapping, videography, history, analysis, marketing, community management, writing, calculation, policy planning, app development, and more!
eInterns should expect to spend ten hours a week on their project from September through May. This is unpaid, volunteer work, but eInterns make connections that make a difference, gain valuable experience, and sometimes get course credit. All applicants must be U.S. citizens in student status at a university in the U.S. or abroad. VSFS is open to undergrad through PhD candidates taking classes full or part-time, in-person or on-line.
Learn more at our website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter! Have questions? Get answers! Post them on our VSFS forum, sign up to receive notifications about VSFS and other internship opportunities under Keep Me Informed, and check in with your regional Diplomat in Residence.
The fine print: Applicants must be U.S. citizens enrolled in university level courses in the U.S. or abroad. Last year, we had students from undergraduate to PhD to part-time online students. A resume, transcript, and statement of interest are required as part of the application process. Interviews may be conducted in August. eInternships are unpaid and do not require a security clearance or travel.