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Student Employment: Frequently Asked Questions    
Will I be permitted to work during the school year?

The intent of the Student Employment Program is to develop students and assess their attitude and performance during ten week summer internship periods. Work during the academic year is not an official part of the program; however, if there is a mission need, students who attend school within commuting distance of their assigned NGA work location may be permitted to work part-time during the school year after the completion of the initial 10-week requirement and with the approval of their supervisor.

I will graduate spring 2016. Am I eligible for the Student Employment Program?

The intent of the Student Employment Program is to develop students for future permanent employment while they pursue a degree relevant to NGA's mission. Students who graduate from their degree program during or prior to the spring 2016 semester are not eligible for the Student Employment Program, unless they indicate that they plan to enroll in a relevant degree program for fall 2016. Students who will graduate from their current degree program but wish to be considered for the summer 2016 Student Employment Program must use the "Education in Progress" field on the application page to indicate the school and degree program in which they plan to enroll for the fall 2016 in order to be considered for the program. If accepted, their offer will be contingent upon acceptance and enrollment in the indicated degree program for the fall 2016 semester.

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

At this time, NGA does not have scholarship or internship opportunities for individuals who are not students. Applicants who have already completed their education are encouraged to visit the "Current Openings" section of for a listing of regular permanent positions.

Are students who are not enrolled in a degree program but are seeking a certificate in a field such as Geography or Human Resource Management eligible for the Student Employment Program?

Students who are not enrolled in a relevant degree program are not eligible for the Student Employment Program. Students must be enrolled in a 2 year, 4 year, graduate, or post-graduate degree program.

My cumulative GPA is just under 3.0/4.0; can I be considered for the Student Employment Program?

NGA's Student Employment Program requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0 at all times; unfortunately, this requirement is non-waiverable. Please consider applying for the Student Employment Program at a later date, or exploring our regular permanent positions.

I have studied abroad, or plan to study abroad in a coming semester. Will this affect my eligibility for the Student Employment Program?

Although study abroad does not in and of itself preclude applicants from eligibility for the Student Employment Program, it may result in a lengthier clearance process, which can be problematic for students nearing their graduation dates (selectees cannot be admitted into the program once they have graduated, unless they enroll in and pursue another relevant degree program). Additionally, study abroad may impact the ability of applicants to complete required pre-employment testing, which can result in delays to selectees' ability to enter on duty with the agency.

I will not graduate from my current degree program until spring 2018; if I am accepted into the Student Employment Program for the summer 2016, will I have to reapply if I wish to participate in the program the following summer?

Once accepted into the program, students who perform successfully during work periods and continue to meet program requirements are invited back to the Agency each year until they graduate. Students who do not perform successfully and/or fail to meet program requirements will be removed from the program and required to reapply for consideration if they wish to reenter the program at a later date.

If I am accepted into the Student Employment Program, can I be hired as a permanent employee before I complete my degree program?

Student employees are hired by the agency with the intent of mentoring and developing them while they earn a degree relevant to NGA’s mission; therefore, students will not be eligible to convert to permanent employment or compete for other NGA positions while they are in the Student Employment Program. Students who perform satisfactorily and continue to meet all program requirements may have the opportunity for conversion to full-time employment upon graduation from the degree program for which they were accepted into the Student Employment Program.

If I am selected for participation in the Student Employment Program what will happen next?

If you are selected for the Student Employment Program, you will be contacted by NGA and extended a verbal offer of agreement. If you accept, your offer will be finalized, and you will receive pre-employment paperwork within the mail in approximately two weeks. It is important to follow all instructions contained in the paperwork, and return it by the date indicated. Once your paperwork has been received, your pre-employment processing (to include the security clearance process) will begin.

How long will it take to complete the security clearance process?

The clearance process varies from individual to individual. The Student Employment Program conducts its application and selection process early to ensure that the majority of selectees are cleared in time to start no later than June of 2016, however, depending on individual circumstances, some selectees' clearances may take longer.

What if I don't clear in time to start next summer?

Students who don't clear in time to participate in the summer 2016 internship period will be handled on a case-by-case basis, depending on their expected graduation date. Student employees are only permitted to enter on duty during the spring or summer.

Does the Student Employment Program provide funding for summer housing?

Individuals selected for the Student Employment Program receive a salary during work periods, but no additional funding or stipend for housing or travel expenses.

Does the Student Employment Program assist students with locating suitable housing for summer internship periods?

Unfortunately, the Student Employment Program does not have the resources to provide in-depth assistance to students seeking housing for summer internship periods. Ultimately, it is students' responsibility to locate and secure housing, if needed. Student Program Managers have compiled a short list of possible housing options in the St. Louis and Washington DC metro areas to help students start their housing search.

Will my work location be accessible by public transportation?

Accessibility to public transportation will depend upon the location of your work assignment. Several, although not all, NGA facilities are easily accessible via public transportation.

Is there a way to carpool/rideshare?

Yes. After you have been awarded a position with NGA and have reported for duty, you will be able to find rideshare information on the NGA intranet.

Are internship opportunities available for new student employees prior to Summer 2016?

No. Selectees from the Aug. 31 – Oct. 10, 2015 application period will be for the summer 2016 internship.

I understand NGA receives thousands of applications for this internship opportunity. What can I do to ensure my resume stands out and increase the chances that it is forwarded to hiring offices for consideration?

There are several steps you can take to compile a comprehensive application, even if you have limited work experience. The first step is to meet all submission deadlines, and follow all application instructions carefully! Any materials submitted after a deadline will not be accepted, and the applicant will not be considered for employment. Additionally, applicants' ability to follow instructions will be carefully evaluated during the application period. It is also important to highlight your relevant work experience. For instance, if you have done any work or participated in research projects relevant to the mission of NGA, make sure to expand upon this in your resume. If you have work experience that is not directly relevant, go ahead and make note of the experience and highlight the ways in which you feel it is applicable or may be of benefit to NGA. Lastly, submit a cover letter to explain how your area of study and your interests align with the NGA mission and how you feel you can contribute. A cover letter is a great opportunity to make your application stand out!

I missed the application period. Will there be another opportunity to apply for opportunities for the summer 2016?

Applications will only be accepted for the summer 2016 Student Employment Program 31 August through 10 October, 2014. Students who do not apply during this timeframe should consider applying when the opportunity re-opens during fall 2016, or consider the regular positions posted under "Current Openings."

I live or attend school within proximity of an NGA location; may I request placement at this site?

During the application process, students may indicate their preferred location for placement; however, although this information will be taken into consideration, placement decisions will ultimately be made based on the needs of the agency.

I am not available to spend 10 weeks with NGA during the summer. Can I still be considered for an internship?

NGA makes a considerable investment in obtaining security clearances for Student Employees and providing on-the-job training/mentoring. Additionally, as part of the Student Employment Program, students who perform successfully and meet program requirements may be granted the opportunity for conversion to full-time employment upon graduation. Therefore, a work period of at least 10 weeks each summer is required to ensure students have sufficient on-the-job experience to contribute to NGA’s mission.

What type of work will I do?

NGA’s student employees receive real work experience to prepare them for future employment with NGA. Student Employment Program assignments are based on entry level professional job descriptions and will involve a great deal of independent and team-oriented work under the guidance of a senior level supervisor and mentor. Job assignments may involve research, drafting reports and presentations, and/or working on projects which require technical knowledge.

What hours will I work?

The typical workday at NGA is 8 ½ hours (1/2 hour of which is uncompensated for lunch). Your actual schedule will be determined in discussion with your supervisor when you arrive, based on office needs, and taking into account your job performance. NGA also offers flexible work schedules with supervisory approval.

What is the dress code for the agency?

In general, the dress for civilians at the agency is conservative business or business casual attire. Students accepted into the program will need a suit for attending meetings/making presentations, etc.

What rate of pay will I receive?

Student employees are compensated based on the degree level they are pursuing while in the program: Undergraduate = $13-$14 per hour
Graduate and Ph.D/Doctorate = $18-$25 per hour
(Rates include locality pay)
Student Employees receive Local Market Supplement (locality) for the geographic location to which they are assigned. Please visit the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) website at for 2015 pay and locality tables. Total salaries will be prorated based on the portion of the year students work.

Will I receive health benefits?

Students employed through NGA’s Student Employment Program receive a salary and accurate annual and sick leave during work periods andthey may be eligible for health benefits if specific conditions are met. A student will be told when they onboard if they are eligible for health benefits by a NGA benefits counselor.

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