The nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service has a new initiative that will provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students seeking internships in the federal government. The effort is supported by Schmidt Futures as part of its broader work to bet early on exceptional people serving the public by working on hard problems in science and society. 

The Future Leaders in Public Service Internship Program

The Future Leaders in Public Service Internship Program will support paid internships for 400 students at two Cabinet-level federal agencies as part of the Partnership’s broader effort to inspire and bring young talent from diverse backgrounds into public service. Through the program, the Partnership and Schmidt Futures aim to encourage federal agencies to embrace increased, systematic recruitment and hiring of interns. 

“Our government needs new skills, perspectives and innovative approaches to confront our country’s challenges, but it is struggling to recruit young talent,” said Max Stier, the Partnership’s president and CEO. “It is essential that we encourage a broader interest in public service careers, harness the immense potential of a new generation to serve their country and facilitate the growth and learning of these individuals.” 

Bringing in a Younger Workforce

The Partnership’s analysis of Office of Personnel Management data shows that less than 7% of the federal workforce is under the age of 30, and that almost one-third of federal workers will be eligible for retirement during the next five years. Young talent is urgently needed to ensure continuity of services and to grow a culture of innovation in the federal government.  

The program is supported by Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt that bets early on exceptional people making the world better. In December 2020, Schmidt Futures CEO Eric Braverman and Stier co-authored an op-ed calling on the federal government to provide one million college students with a paid government internship, in addition to the opportunity to compete for a college scholarship in exchange for their service. This program and support are part of that commitment to encourage exceptional talent to work in government and continue serving others. 

“We must reinvigorate our governing bodies by finding and investing in young talent committed to serving others,” said Braverman. “I’m excited by the promise of this new program to give the leaders of tomorrow the opportunities they need today to help solve our greatest challenges.”  

Details for Students

Students selected for the Future Leaders in Public Service Internship program will participate in a 10–12-week summer internship at participating federal agencies and receive a $4,000 stipend. The Departments of Commerce and Transportation have committed to participate in the program. 

For both the summers of 2022 and 2023, the program will place 200 students in internships that run from May to August. The Partnership will provide orientation, professional development training and networking opportunities for participants.  

To be eligible for the program, applicants must be U.S. citizens currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at an accredited educational institution and have a GPA of 3.0 or above. Participants also should be interested in one of the following career tracks: STEM and innovation, mission support, public policy, administration, liberal arts or contracting and acquisitions. Students interested in the program can apply here, by January 14, 2022.  


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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.