Internships

CBO has finalized selections for the 2020 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 2019 Interns

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University of Texas Master’s, Public Affairs

In the Budget Analysis Division, I assisted two units with in-depth research for cost estimates of legislation covering proprietary school status, free community college tuition, and Medicare coverage of patients with end-stage renal disease. Another project involved constructing a model to estimate future market share and prices of biosimilar drugs covered by Medicare Part B. This work included in-depth market research, analysis of quantitative data, and conversations with biosimilar drug experts in D.C. The work was challenging, but it aligned with my interests and public policy passions. My supervisors and mentors provided constructive and timely feedback on my work and answered any questions. I highly recommend CBO for anyone interested in working on evidence-based policy analysis with some of the top minds in federal budgeting!

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University of Texas Ph.D., Economics

During my internship, I forecast borrowing and loan volumes in federal student loan programs for the Financial Analysis Division. I learned institutional details of student loan eligibility and repayment, and I used that knowledge to build a realistic model of student borrowers. My colleagues at CBO helped familiarize me with the econometrics and forecasting techniques I needed. They were always available for guidance, but I set the direction and scope of the project, and I am proud of the work I did at CBO.

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Southern Methodist University Master’s, Economics and Predictive Analysis

Under the guidance of my supervisor in the National Security Division, I analyzed the performance of several Air Force weapons systems before and after a large-scale major maintenance event. Using nearly 40 years of historical data on several hundred airplanes, I learned and applied technical skills to create a normalized timeline of airplane performance metrics relative to the maintenance event for each weapons system and then analyzed those metrics. CBO was committed to providing a positive experience, scheduling weekly seminars and events for us and passing on information about events around the city.

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University of Michigan Ph.D., Economics

I worked with the Budget Analysis Division on projects related to long-term supports and services. I was impressed at how quickly I felt integrated into my team’s work, and I was excited to see my work affect cost estimates and some of CBO’s other products. CBO’s staff were generous with their time; I enjoyed speaking with analysts about their work and careers.

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Georgetown University Master’s, Public Policy and Law

Working within the Low-Income Health Programs and Prescription Drugs Cost Estimates Unit of the Budget Analysis Division, I had the opportunity to work on several different exciting projects related to health insurance reform. My projects were often at the nexus of health law, economics, policy, and finance, which was perfect for me because those topics aligned completely with my interests. My supervisor was thoughtful in making sure that my projects fit my interests and that I felt supported every step of the way. Coming into this internship, I already had a fairly strong knowledge base in my area of study, but I left with an even greater understanding and a passion for my academic and professional field of interest.

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University of Central Florida B.S., Accounting

My internship in CBO’s Office of Financial Management taught me valuable skills that go beyond what can be learned in a classroom. I performed internal control testing, developed and revised standard operating procedures, analyzed spending plans, reviewed budget execution, and processed accounts payable. I learned about the budget and appropriation process from an internal perspective, allowing me to see the details that go into a yearly budget request. Thanks to the time CBO’s employees have invested in my career growth, I am confident that the experience and skills I have gained will serve me throughout my career.

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University of Carnegie Mellon Master’s, Public Policy

My internship at CBO provided me with a wide range of interdisciplinary experience and access to some of the most talented minds in the public sector. I worked on several cost estimates for the Congress, modeled bank failures, analyzed the budgetary impact of government programs, and modeled the effect of moving financial institutions to the General Schedule pay scale. I honed my skills in finance, economics, spreadsheet modeling, and programming, but the best part was collaborating with Congressional staff and other agencies on my projects. I was able to meet people throughout CBO as well as the rest of the federal government. I was encouraged to attend events on the Hill, and the weekly intern seminars kept me informed about CBO’s role in the legislative branch. If you are looking for an internship where you can make an impact, broaden your skillset, and meet passionate and driven people who are always ready to help, then CBO is the place to be.

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Old Dominion University B.S., Computer Engineering

I have learned so much while working with the IT team at CBO in the Management, Business, and Information Services Division. I will apply the skills I have developed from these expert engineers for the rest of my IT career. I am sure this internship and experience will open plenty of opportunities for me. The plethora of resources, tips, and advice I have been given will be more than enough for me to succeed in this field when I graduate next spring and finally begin to do what I love.

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Howard University B.A., Computer Information Systems

I am so thankful for the opportunity to work in the Management, Business, and Information Services Division at CBO. The first day I got here I had hands-on training that made a world a difference. I have been able to excel because of my coworkers and colleagues in other divisions as well. My supervisor is very supportive of my career goals and never hesitates to give meaningful advice!

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Georgetown University Master’s, Public Relations and Communications

My internship at CBO has been an extraordinary experience. My supervisor has provided me with incredible opportunities, responsibilities, and guidance that I will be able to take with me throughout my career. I have directly observed the budgetary and economic analyses that contribute to the legislative process, and I interact weekly with tier-one media about CBO’s reports and cost estimates. I have had the privilege of working with the Director, Deputy Director, and senior-level analysts to prepare for potential press questions. In addition, I had the opportunity to attend several Congressional testimonies at the Capitol and helped organize a high-profile press briefing for The Budget and Economic Outlook.

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University of Wisconsin Ph.D., Economics and Finance

My work at CBO focused on making methodological and structural improvements to CBO’s cost of capital model. I had previously been interested in this area and had built my own version, but working on CBO’s model offered the opportunity to learn from and contribute to the most detailed model of this type. I was able to contribute original research and modeling, as well as participate in a transparency initiative at CBO.

2019 Internship Program
2019 Internship Program 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)

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. Applications for those internships should be submitted through careers@cbo.gov.


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 also attend seminars, including the Congressional Summer Intern Lecture Series, which has featured former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and journalist Cokie Roberts.


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.