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Internship Program

The U.S. Commercial Service (CS) in India offers internship opportunities throughout the year. This is a Commercial Service program, under the direction of a Commercial Officer. The internship experience provides marketing, budgeting and trade promotion support to CS programs.

The objective of your experience is to learn how to successfully work in a foreign country. You will acquire skills that allow you to adapt to new customs, handle foreign exchange, and communicate successfully, mindful of cultural differences, in a foreign environment on a variety of topics ranging from ordering food to business-related tasks. Finally, you will make valuable contacts in the U.S. and Indian business community that may help you in your future job search.

Responsibilities include:

1. Revise, update, and compose entries into the Client Tracking System database to record staff counseling sessions and success stories. This information is a key management tool for the Department of Commerce in that it is one of the many criteria used to determine the agency’s annual budget. The database is used to create an industry specific, qualified contact list for a U.S. exporter.

2. Handle incoming telephone calls, ensuring that clients received timely and quality assistance.

3. Research, prepare and edit English-language documents to prepare them as final drafts for an American Officer’s review. These tasks require you to use analytical skills, make judgement calls, ask for guidance and prepare text to be published to the Internet. You may be asked to draft ad hoc reports, prepare agendas, prepare and enter Export Success Story documentation or edit market research reports (ISAs, IPS, ICPs) about India.

4. Conduct ad hoc research. Using your knowledge of the Internet, Commercial Service databases and Embassy facilities you will carry out these projects on behalf of U.S. exporters. This can range from a two-page information sheet highlighting relevant information or a PowerPoint presentation in English (corrected by local staff or an American officer).

5. Carry out routine clerical tasks. In addition to acting as the back-up receptionist, you may file documents (paper and electronic), upgrade our electronic files, escort our visitors and prepare basic memos to the Ambassador or other Embassy personnel.

6. Trade Shows, Trade Missions and Receptions – you may be asked to staff our booth at a trade show and to give information about our services to clients. If we have a trade mission, you will be assigned to help clients making appointments, interpreting (depending on your comfort level), escorting and handling logistics. You may be asked to attend business receptions at the Ambassador’s residence or other location and represent along with the staff CS India.

Who is Eligible?

  • United States citizens studying in U.S. or India
  • Students currently enrolled in a college/university or those who are accepted in a school for the quarter/semester following the internship. Students must return to complete their education following the internship
  • A superior academic rating
  • Long term availability: minimum eight weeks and are required to be full-time while working in India - 40 hours per week.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, computer skills, and interpersonal skills
  • Must receive a positive background security check by the U.S. Government prior to the start of an internship

Will I Be Paid?

No. This internship is a voluntary position and is unpaid. However academic credit is available; consult with your advising councilor. Upon completion of the internship, you will receive a certificate of completion and an official letter of recommendation can be provided and many Universities will award academic credit for your work. Students are responsible for obtaining their own transportation to and from post, housing, and personal expenses.

HOW DO I APPLY?

The U.S. Commercial Service seeks hard-working, responsible interns. If you are
interested in an internship, please submit the following items to our intern coordinator, Mala Venkat at the address below:

The U.S. Commercial Service
American Consulate General
220 Anna Salai
Chennai 600 006
Email: Mala Venkat
Subject line: Last name, First name - Internship Application

1. A cover letter addressing why you want to be an intern, future goals, what you have to offer the Commercial Service, and how you hope to benefit from the internship.

2. A copy of an up-to-date resume. The resume should include your past academic achievements and work experience, computer skills, career goals, citizenship, and student status.

3. The exact time period that you will be available. The minimum requirement is 8 weeks.

4. Home address, email, telephone, and fax number in U.S.

5. Letters of recommendation from a current/previous professor who is familiar with your work. 

Once your application has been accepted you will need to submit the following paperwork to run credit and background checks. These forms can be downloaded from this page.

  • Copy of completed and signed Volunteer Service Agreement
  • Completed and signed Credit Report Release Statement
  • Copy of U.S. passport (pages with picture and personal information)
  • Completed and signed Form SF-85P,
  • A letter from your college/University stating that you are currently enrolled and will be completing your education at the conclusion of the internship.
  • For male applicants only: the Selective Service Registration

Application deadlines:

February 15th every year. Note that it takes about 3-6 months to complete the application and security process. Please ensure you have enough time before submitting your application. A security assurance check is mandatory for the position.  No offer of employment is final until, a favorable assurance check is received.