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Career News | Feb. 14, 2022

What Makes a DCAA Internship Unique?

By DCAA Staff Writer

The quality of the intern experience varies dramatically between different organizations. While student interns in some company’s may be underutilized, the DCAA intern experience is quite different. Here’s why.

To begin, DCAA interns are included as part of the team from day one. Because the Pathways Internship Program is long-term—not just a summer job—interns receive formal onboarding, auditing, and on-the-job training through the Defense Contract Audit Institute (DCAI). They learn first-hand about DCAA audit and financial services, procedures, and methods.

With mentoring from their supervisors and teammates, DCAA interns hold direct audit responsibilities, owning their part of the process. Some interns compile and evaluate data for contract audit documents and working papers. Some validate payroll data and analyze records to verify accuracy. Other interns assist in audit tasks by conducting interviews and lending support for the accurate assessment of labor and material cost. No matter the role, each intern makes significant contributions and has the opportunity to learn from their work and peers.

The Agency also offers a commitment to work-life balance, in addition to a paid opportunity. Because the participants are students, the Pathways Program allows flexible hours so interns can successfully balance their internship with their classes. As a result, DCAA interns can experience working for DoD while being able to prepare for midterms, class projects, and finals.

Finally, interns can become permanent DCAA auditors if open positions are available. To be eligible they must complete at least 640 work hours and all other program requirements, achieve successful job performance, and meet the qualifications for the permanent position. Several DCAA staff members started their careers this way.

“Interns [should] know that this internship allows students to actually help with audit procedures,” says intern Lindsey Ferguson. “I get to work on files and documents that auditors will use to complete their assessment of [the contractor’s] government contracts.” Amanda Obara also notes, “this internship has shown me how DCAA is a place I would be excited to work, and it has provided me with experiences that will benefit me in my future job as an auditor.”

Typical internships? Not at DCAA. Learn more about DCAA or the internship experience through articles on the DCAA Career blog.