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Can I be a Federal intern?

March 14, 2013

Many years ago, I signed up on, looking for a particular opening in my area. I never have been able to get off the mailing list (although this post might do it).

I just got a notice about internships, and just out of curiosity, I opened it. Here’s a sample.

Department:Department Of The Interior

Agency:National Park Service

Job Announcement Number:SERO-13-837803-PATH

SALARY RANGE:                $33,829.00 to $42,055.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD:   Monday, March 11, 2013 to Friday, March 15, 2013

SERIES & GRADE:              GS-0025-05

POSITION INFORMATION:           Full Time – Other Student


DUTY LOCATIONS:           1 vacancy in the following location:

Fort Payne, AL United StatesView Map

WHO MAY APPLY:            Student Trainee Pathways Program Eligibles Only


Who May Apply: Student/Internship Program Eligibles

Wait a minute.  Is this the same National Park Service that can’t provide enough people to oversee the White House Tours because of the big bad sequester ?  If I was one of the so-called furloughed employees (if there are any) I’d be filing a grievance with my union rep.

These positions are allocated under the Pathways Internship program, as described in the above announcement as follows: “This position is being filled in the excepted service under Pathway’s Internship Program.  The Pathway’s Intternship(sic) Program is designed to provide students with paid work opportunities in agencies to explore Federal careers while still in school.  To learn more about the Pathway’s Internship Program please visit”

I don’t have any problem with the theory behind the program. It’s a paid apprenticeship, just like those in many trades. But like everything else in Washington, there is no logic or common sense in the execution of the program.

The President says the Park Service can’t provide people to oversee the White House tours, but it can pay a college kid to work in Fort Payne, AL. Maybe they could hire interns to do the White House tours?

This is typical of the fiscal and political atmosphere in the nation’s capital, and it is exactly why people say they wish the whole place could be shut down until some semblance of sanity is restored.

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