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Six reasons to apply to be an NGA intern (as told by interns)

To understand more about what it takes to be an intern, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Office of Corporate Communications spoke to a few of this year’s college summer interns to learn more about their experience and tips for future interns. 

Not a geospatial major?

No worries! A lot of opportunities at NGA focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics related topics. Students are offered the opportunity to put what has been learned in school to use in the ‘real’ world, and any gaps not taught at a university are explained through on-the-job training. Plus, NGA employees are always willing to help interns out and grow in their journey to finding the right career path for them.

Not a STEM major? Again, no worries! Interns are also placed in roles ranging from communications to research. NGA doesn’t require students to already have their future career decided. A popular function of the internship program is the shadowing process allowing interns to branch out from their origin area of work to learn about other areas of the agency which exposes them to different job options. 


All students are welcomed! Everyone is looked at equally and given a fair opportunity at NGA. NGA brings on interns from schools like Yale University, Old Dominion University and historically black colleges and universities which creates a diverse atmosphere of interns. The school an intern goes to shouldn’t impact their decision of applying. 


Talk to people! NGA employees are willing to teach and share their experiences. If an intern is willing to learn, they’ll have that opportunity. Current interns recommend remaining open-minded and to take in as much information as possible. 

Networking exposes interns to multiple people with diverse backgrounds and life experiences. Even other interns can offer good information and advice.

Interns also network outside of their direct work environment. There are opportunities to visit other NGA locations, and other intelligence community agencies like the CIA and NSA.

Job offer after college?

Yes please! Many students see the intern program as a door to their desired government career. There is a high success rate for interns being given an offer after graduation. The NGA internship is like an entry level job to the government and offers a lot of opportunities to advance in that career. Interns are given an authentic daily work experience, so they can be the best candidate possible when it comes time to applying to NGA.

Security Clearance?

Definitely! The opportunity to gain a security clearance before graduation is an amazing benefit. Going through the background check process early puts interns ahead of their peers. NGA interns recommend remaining open and honest when taking a polygraph. 


If all that isn’t enough, you also get paid! NGA college interns are hired as a Pay Band 1. For more information visit NGA’s Benefits & Pay site.

If you are interested in working for NGA, learn more at Student Opportunities and keep an eye out for the next application deadline!