The Student Hire Internship Program (SHIP) for Procurement Professionals offers current students in relevant educational programs paid internships in DHS procurement offices during the period before graduation. Upon graduation, student interns may be converted into positions in the Acquisition Professional Career Program.
About the Program
The program targets students with strong Grade Point Averages studying Business with interest in topics related to Purchasing, Procurement, Acquisition, Contract Management, or Supply Chain Management. Students must be prepared to work on-site in the Washington, DC area during the internship and after graduation.
The program currently offers internships during the immediate Summer, Fall, and/or Spring periods before graduation. The Summer period is Full-Time and any Fall or Spring semester periods are Part Time. Students may be offered the opportunity to extend their internships into subsequent periods after their initial period but no internship will extend beyond three periods before graduation. Upon graduation, students may be offered the opportunity to convert into Full-Time positions in the Acquisition Professional Career Program. Extensions or conversions are not implied or guaranteed at any time for any interns.
Internship positions are filled under the Pathways Internship Program. This Program allows students to gain paid work experience while pursuing a degree, diploma, or certificate at a qualifying institution. Under the Pathways Program, students who successfully complete all work, study, qualifications, and other eligibility requirements may be offered a permanent position with our agency upon graduation or completion of a qualifying certificate.
As a Student Trainee (Contracting), typical work assignments may include the following under supervision:
- Serve on a team specializing in acquisition to negotiate, award, administer, and/or closeout actions.
- Assist in the development and review of statements of work.
- Prepare acquisition documents and obtain legal, financial, and staff review.
- Assist higher-graded staff with the day-to-day administration of acquisition activity.
- Participate in special activities as assigned.
- Ascertain that all items necessary for contract closeout are appropriately completed.
- Assure that data in information systems for assigned work is complete, current, and accurate.
Openings and Recruitment
Please understand that SHIP is a very competitive program to join. All official applications will be solicited, received, and processed via official job opportunity announcements on www.USAJobs.gov. However, we are always interested in identifying talent at any time. If you believe you are a good fit for SHIP, you may send your resume to AcquisitionCandidates@hq.dhs.gov. If you are on the Handshake platform or other university recruitment platforms and find SHIP information posted, we prefer you engage with us there because it means we are in an active recruitment cycle. We may not respond to all interested parties, but we always maintain a talent pool.
We are currently recruiting for a potential SHIP Cohort for Spring/Summer 2021 Graduates. The cohort will likely run Part-Time from December 2020 – May 2021. Information is posted on Handshake and other university recruitment platforms. Please engage with us there if possible, or via the above email address if not.
We plan to post an official job opportunity announcement for the Summer 2021 SHIP Cohort in early 2021. This Cohort is for Fall 2021 and Spring/Summer 2022 graduates. Monitor this page, the Handshake platform, or other university recruitment platforms for updated information. You also may see us at career fairs and at DHS-sponsored recruitment events.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I cannot or do not want to work in or near Washington, DC for the internship or after I graduate?
We do not advise submitting anything to us unless you can commit to working on site in the Washington, DC area during the internship and after university graduation. For now, internships are on site unless we specifically state otherwise in a specific announcement. If the internship becomes a permanent Full-Time position after you graduate, the duty location will likely be in or near Washington, DC. Exceptions are rare and may be offered during the internship on a voluntary relocation basis.
What if my Grade Point Average (GPA) is lower than 3.0 or 3.5 or I plan to graduate with a GPA lower than 3.0 or 3.5?
We do not advise submitting anything to us unless you are certain that you will graduate with a GPA above 3.0. GPA’s at or above 3.5 are preferred in some cases and will make you much more competitive.
Is this an internship that may lead to a DHS career in another discipline, such as law enforcement, criminal justice, international affairs, politics, cybersecurity, information technology, etc.?
No, this is an internship designed for strong business focused major or minor students who want to support DHS by performing contracting/procurement work as described here. We cannot help you with other DHS career interests beyond directing you to learn more at:
Is this program for undergraduate and graduate students?
Yes, either may apply if all other criteria are met, i.e. graduation dates and at least part-time enrollment status. Just be mindful that this is a pre-entry-level career program. The Acquisition Professional Career Program is our flagship entry-level career program for acquisition talent who have already graduated.
How much does the internship pay?
Interns are paid at the GS-04, Step 1 level for the Washington, DC area. Please refer to the current Office of Personnel Management General Schedule (GS) Locality Pay Tables to see the corresponding hourly rate of pay for the year you are interested in.