Internships

CBO has finalized selections for the 2022 Summer Internship Program. We thank all students who indicated an interest in the 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 2021 Interns

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University of Rhode Island, Ph.D., Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

Working in CBO’s National Security Division this summer provided me a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between my previous professional experience and my graduate studies in economics. As a summer associate in NSD, I conducted and presented research on the availability and use of the Navy’s aircraft before and after large-scale maintenance events. As part of that work, I developed algorithms to clean extensive data sets and report key metrics. Even though my internship was remote because of the pandemic, I felt incredibly connected to the other staff at CBO and encouraged to be involved.

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California State University, M.A., Economics

Being a summer associate at CBO has been a wonderful experience. It provided me with an opportunity to apply econometric methods and work with large data sets. My project in the National Security Division was studying real property assets on U.S. Army bases. Weekly seminars helped me learn about the work other divisions do. CBO’s staff did an excellent job of making everything work smoothly during a remote internship.

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Johns Hopkins University, M.A., American Foreign Policy

Interning at CBO has given me an opportunity to further develop my media relations and public affairs skills alongside a supportive and engaging communications team. I have been able to contribute to CBO’s efforts to interact with and answer questions from the media and the public. Throughout my internship, there have been many opportunities for career development and networking, and I know this experience will contribute greatly to achieving my future career goals.

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Pennsylvania State University, B.A., Accounting

During my internship with CBO’s Office of Financial Management, I completed an internal controls testing project, processed invoices, and conducted budget changes. I also attended seminars that introduced me to different divisions in CBO. My team never hesitated to assist me when needed or to offer me advice about how to accomplish my career goals. The experience has allowed me to gain useful skills that will benefit me as I continue my journey to become an accounting professional.

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Washington State University, Ph.D., Economics

Although I was working in the Health Analysis Division, with a focus on developing a data set related to the historical development of pharmaceuticals, I had the opportunity to interact with analysts in other divisions too. CBO’s staff were extremely helpful and welcoming. My assigned work was interesting, and I was able to contribute meaningfully to the work of the Congress.

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University of Minnesota, Ph.D., Economics

During my internship with CBO’s National Security Division, I explored and analyzed the labor force outcomes of veterans with disability compensation. The economists in the division provided institutional knowledge that allowed me to approach the issue more deeply than my academic training had prepared me for. Under their guidance, I learned about the complicated nature of using survey data and the applied technical skills required to gain useful information from it.

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Princeton University, M.A., Public Affairs

CBO’s internship program gave me a unique opportunity to apply the skills I’m learning in graduate school to important health policy questions. I worked with the Health Analysis Division to analyze how prescription drugs’ prices—and spending for them—change when generic competitors enter the market. My supervisors were an invaluable resource for introducing me to others at CBO and supporting my work through every step of the project.

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The College of New Jersey, B.A., Psychology and Industrial Organization

During my time with CBO, I’ve developed a wide array of skills I know will be essential to my future professional career. I’ve valued learning the dynamics of working with a team and getting hands-on experience with meaningful projects in the human resources field. The areas that I’ve assisted the HR team with have included moving to a new information system, maintaining personnel records, performing data entry and validation, and analyzing recruitment. CBO has truly proven to be the best small agency to work for in the federal government by providing everyone, even interns, with a driven work environment that encourages all ideas to be shared and that gives ample opportunity to develop yourself professionally.

CBO’s 2021 Internships (PDF)
CBO’s 2021 Internships PDF

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

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the application process?

All applications must be submitted online by the application deadline. Only complete applications will be considered. When you apply:

  • Submit your cover letter and resume
  • Upload a transcript (unofficial transcripts are acceptable)
  • Contact information for two references

What are the qualifications for the summer internship program?

You should:

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

Often, CBO also 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.


Can noncitizens apply?

CBO may employ individuals who are not U.S. citizens if they are permanent residents of the United States who are seeking citizenship, as outlined in 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(3)(B). Please review the citizenship requirements or contact CBO Human Resources at careers@cbo.gov to determine 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
  • relevant work experience


When are interns selected?

Applications are reviewed in March and selections are completed by the first week in April. We inform all candidates to whom we are unable to extend an internship by email.


What do CBO interns do?

In addition to contributing to CBO’s analysis in one of CBO’s divisions, interns participate in an educational program that includes briefings on the work that we do and the way we do it. CBO's interns are also afforded networking opportunities with budget and policy professionals.


What projects have CBO interns worked on?

Recent CBO interns have contributed to the following cost estimates and publications:


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, 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


Does CBO accept interns for the fall or spring semesters?

Only occasionally does CBO offer internships during the academic year. You can register to receive internship job alerts in the event that a fall or spring semester opportunity becomes available.


Does CBO offer internships for individuals who have already completed their degree program(s)?

CBO accepts applications from students currently enrolled in a degree seeking program. Applicants who have already completed their education are encouraged to visit the www.cbo.gov/careers for a listing of our positions.