Internships

We thank all students who indicated an interest in CBO’s 2022 summer internship program by submitting an application. We hope that you consider CBO again in the future and encourage you to register for job alerts to be informed of new opportunities.

Meet CBO's 2022 Interns

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Boston College, Ph.D., Economics

As a summer associate in the Health Analysis Division, I worked with my supervisor to develop an R Shiny dashboard to explore drug development pipeline data interactively. That kind of data is something I would never have been able to work with normally as just a graduate student. This is part of a recurrent trend you find at CBO: being trusted with novel and complex projects while being among people with tremendous depth of knowledge who are interested in and value your ideas and growth. These precious experiences are ones that I am extremely excited to take back into my graduate program and future professional career.

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Cornell University, Ph.D., Policy Analysis and Management

As an intern in the Health Analysis Division, I analyzed spending and utilization of physician-administered drugs in Medicare, which will inform CBO’s future work on drug policy reform. This internship offered unique insights into the legislative process, the role of CBO, and analysts’ commitment to integrity and transparency.

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New York University, B.S., Finance

Throughout my time at CBO, I have found plenty of enjoyment in the work I am doing and how it relates to my current undergraduate studies. Working with the Management, Business, and Information Services Division has allowed me to get firsthand experience with financial documents as well as working on audits and internal controls. One of my favorite things about working with CBO is how close-knit the team is. Given how well the team communicates and the synergy between members, working with this team and interacting with everyone is easy and enjoyable. As a result of this experience, I know for certain that the financial world is something that I want to continue working in, and I will take the knowledge I have gained from these experiences and apply these principles for the rest of my professional career.

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American University, Ph.D., Public Administration and Policy

Working at CBO provided the hands-on, applied learning I craved during my graduate courses. It was a privilege to collaborate with and learn from seasoned analysts, and I enjoyed the opportunity to step away from the academic environment while learning about the project management tools, coding practices, and model-building strategies used within CBO. As a summer associate within the Labor, Income Security, and Long-Term Analysis Division, I helped build a model projecting various sources of wealth to develop an updated analysis of the distribution of wealth. I gained invaluable insight and mentorship from my supervisor and had the opportunity to sit down with members of other divisions across CBO who shared my research interests. It was a pleasure working within CBO this summer, and I hope to carry the analysts’ passion, drive, and savvy into the next phase of my education and career.

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Columbia University, Ph.D., Applied Mathematics

As someone from a science background interested in pursuing a career in public policy, interning at CBO gave me the opportunity to see both how one particularly dynamic agency works and how the federal government functions at a basic level. Working in the National Security Division exposed me to a completely new subject area and expanded my horizons for possible career paths after graduation. Drilling into budget data down to the level of individual expenditures gave me a chance to see how decisions made by individuals turn into governmentwide trends. Overall, the experience has given me practical experience thinking critically about how the government functions and has shown me a few paths that could let me pursue that as a career.

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University of Texas at Austin, M.A., Economics

My project with the Tax Analysis Division involved improving the statistical model used to forecast realized capital gains. I applied what I’d learned about time-series econometrics by testing for unit roots and cointegration, regression fit, structural breaks, and forecasting performance. I challenged my soft skills by collaborating with senior CBO personnel and presenting the results of my work.

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Georgetown University, M.S., Data Science for Public Policy

During my internship, I worked in the National Security Division on the defense resource projection, which is CBO's analysis and extended projection of the Department of Defense's Future Years Defense Plan. A lot of my work involved automating the data collection process by writing code in Python to scrape and clean data from reports that the Department of Defense publishes only in PDF form. I appreciated the academic and collaborative environment at CBO and have really enjoyed speaking with colleagues across all divisions about their interesting work. I loved my experience at CBO and would recommend this internship to anyone interested in economics or policy research.

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The George Washington University, M.S., Applied Economics

During my internship in CBO’s National Security Division, I conducted research on the costs to renovate and modernize the U.S. Navy’s property assets. The weekly seminars at CBO and the Congressional Research Service provided an in-depth look at the mechanics behind the legislative process. These experiences provided me with a world-class education that helped me identify what more I would need to do to have a successful career as an economist. My mentors and colleagues were wonderful and willing to help facilitate connections beyond CBO.

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University of Kentucky, Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance

Interning in CBO’s Management, Business, and Information Services Division this summer provided me the opportunity of working with a variety of federal professionals, from unit chiefs to senior executives. I was able to apply former work and internship experience as well as coursework from my undergraduate studies. During my 10 weeks at CBO, I worked directly with the agency’s chief administrative officer, contributing meaningfully to the Management, Business, and Information Services Division. I was able to gain valuable finance and accounting experience, performing internal controls testing and reconciliation while also analyzing internal operational efficiency through a variety of projects. Despite working remotely because of the pandemic, everyone I interacted with was friendly, supportive, and invested in my success during my time at CBO.

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The College of William and Mary, J.D., Law

During my time in CBO’s Office of General Counsel, I had many opportunities to develop my legal and interpersonal skills while exploring various areas of law and policy. The firsthand exposure to challenges faced by policymakers and analysts broadened my perspectives on critical issues and provided countless opportunities for me to explore the legal intricacies of complex matters. I am excited to put into practice the research, writing, and interpersonal skills that my supervisors helped me develop, as well as the critical thinking skills that I honed with every CBO staff interaction.

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University of Illinois at Urbana, M.S., Economics

During my internship with the National Security Division, I conducted research into the effects of aging on aircraft and how they impact key outcomes such as aircraft availability and flying hours. In this capacity, I cleaned and analyzed multiple data sets and built a standardized model for comparing the effect of age on performance between fleets. It was great to have an opportunity to apply the theoretical and technical skills I’d gained through my master’s program. I particularly appreciated the support from my NSD manager and colleagues. Even though my internship was remote, I felt connected to the other summer associates and appreciated the opportunities to learn about other CBO departments.

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University of North Carolina, Master of Public Health

Working at CBO over the summer has been a fantastic opportunity. CBO provided a highly immersive internship experience. I felt included here, and the analysts have been kind and welcoming. This summer, I was able to work on a project on the economic impacts of mental health treatment. The work is challenging and deeply rewarding. I am satisfied with the high degree of autonomy I was given to explore my interests while contributing to meaningful work for the Congress.

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American University, M.A., International Affairs Policy and Analysis

Within the communications office, I have assisted in responding to both public and media inquiries on behalf of CBO and contributed to curating communications strategies for disseminating some of the agency’s most important report releases. My internship has given me invaluable insight into the hard work necessary to produce the high-quality products CBO is well-known for. I have had the privilege of working alongside and learning from some of the most brilliant professionals in economics and public policy and, from that, have gained a broader understanding of the overall process of the Congress’s legislative work.

CBO is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity. CBO encourages women, minorities, people with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do CBO interns do?

CBO interns participate in a paid 10-week program where they contribute to analysis in one of CBO’s divisions. Assignments are determined largely on the basis of students’ interests, knowledge, and academic background.

In addition, interns participate in an educational program that includes briefings on the work that we do and the way we do it. CBO interns are also afforded networking opportunities with budget and policy professionals.

How can I prepare for a CBO internship?

Previous interns describe the following experiences and skills as valuable in preparing for their CBO internships:

  • Course work in economics, public finance, public budgeting, microeconomics, econometrics, data analytics, and public health
  • Projects involving SAS (or other statistical programs) and large data sets
  • Independent research
  • Strong writing skills
  • Interest in understanding the federal budget process
  • Other policy internships and participation in student government
What are the qualifications for the summer internship program?

You should:

  • Be pursuing a graduate degree in economics, public policy, health policy, finance, data science, or a related field
  • Have solid writing skills and the ability to communicate clearly and concisely
  • Have exceptional interpersonal and analytical skills
  • Be familiar with computer programming, statistics, econometrics, or other quantitative methods

Often, CBO seeks summer interns in other disciplines, such as budget and financial management, information technology, communications, and human resources. Qualifications and deadlines for those positions differ.

Applicants who have already completed their degree program are encouraged to view our current job openings.

What is the application process?

Each January, CBO begins accepting applications for its Summer Internship Program. All applications must be submitted online by the application deadline. Only completed applications will be considered. When you apply:

  • Submit your cover letter and résumé
  • Upload a transcript (unofficial transcripts are acceptable)
  • Provide contact information for two references
Can noncitizens apply?

Federal legislation permits CBO to hire permanent residents who are seeking citizenship and certain other asylees and refugees, as outlined in 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(3)(B). Please contact careers@cbo.gov if you have questions about employment eligibility before submitting an application.

How does CBO select interns?

CBO selects interns on the basis of:

  • Academic achievement
  • Relevance of your academic training to CBO's work
  • Relevance of your experience and skills to the available projects
  • Relevant work experience
When are interns selected?

Applications are reviewed in March and interns are selected by mid-April. Candidates to whom we are unable to extend an internship will receive an email informing them of their status.

Only occasionally does CBO offer internships during the academic year. You can register to receive job alerts if fall or spring semester opportunities become available.