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Student Volunteer Internship Program

U.S. Commercial Service in Rome and Milan, Italy

The following information is for U.S. citizens. Italian citizens should see Programma Stage.

The U.S. Commercial Service has an active internship program throughout the year, and we welcome applications from suitable candidates to work alongside our staff at the U.S. Embassy in Rome or at the U.S. Consulate in Milan.

The U.S. Commercial Service is the export development and inward investment agency of the United States Government.

I. Purpose of the Program:

To provide college/university students in the fields of international affairs, business administration or related fields with "hands-on" experience working in the Commercial Section of a U.S. Embassy or Consulate General. As the principal U.S. Government organization involved in international trade promotion, the U.S. Commercial Service offers a unique internship opportunity for those interested in pursuing a career in international business.

The program is voluntary and uncompensated.

II. Criteria - Students applying for the program must meet the following basic requirements:

Majors in business or public administration, economics, international affairs, or related field.

A superior academic rating.

Bilingual in Italian and English (written, read, and spoken).

All applicants must be U.S. citizens. (Italian students see Programma Stage)

III. Position Description / List of Duties:

Students will work approximately 40 hours per week for a minimum of 3 months.

Internship positions are available throughout the year.

Although no remuneration is possible, students may be able to earn credits toward graduation based on a formula in line with the policies of the participating university.

Some work may be performed outside the Commercial Section’s office.

”Under 5 U.S.C. 3111, a student volunteer is not a Federal employee for any purposes other than injury compensation and law related to the Tort Claims Act. Service is not creditable for leave or any other employee benefits.”

The types of possible tasks are numerous and may at times include some administrative duties as needed. The object is to introduce students to a broad range of commercial and economic issues of interest to the U.S. Government and to business, especially small and mid-sized enterprises. In addition, students are introduced to the processeses and practices of a large administration. Specific duties that might be assigned include the following:

Assisting Commercial Specialists in program activities, including trade show recruitment and participation, launching promotional campaigns for American firms, conducting market research, contacting the Italian business public to support product and event promotions, and identifying sources of supply in the United States for Italian buyers.

At the Milan CS office, for example, there are four Commercial Specialists who cover over 50 industry sectors, among them apparel, franchising, furniture, pet products, sporting and recreation goods, consumer electronics, automotive parts & services equipment, computer products, computer services, environmental products, building products, etc. Interns will have the opportunity over the course of their internship to become familiar with certain industry sectors.

Major annual trade shows which interns could support include: MCE for air conditioning and building products; Showcase USA-Italy for tourism promotion; Eicma for motorcycles; Zoomark International for pet products; MADE Expo for architectural, construction and engineering services, building products, and construction equipment, and Solarexpo & Greenbuilding for renewable energies and building products, among others.

Supporting Commercial Specialists with computer work, therefore fluency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and the Internet is expected. Interns will learn to work with the U.S. Commercial Service's Client Tracking System (CTS), a global organizational database for U.S. clients and foreign buyers, to assist with client services and internal communications.

Performing an independent research project on the Italian economy as it affects U.S. trade interests. Working with the Commercial Officer, candidate will select a topic for independent research culminating in a written report, which may then be submitted to the Department of Commerce in Washington, DC, and/or U.S. business interests for dissemination.

Providing logistical and administrative support when needed, i.e., answering routine commercial inquiries from American and Italian companies, filing, data entry, and copy work.

IV. Sensitivity Level of the Position:

Non-Sensitive

V. To apply, you must be:

  • An undergraduate junior or senior, or graduate student
  • Available to work for a minimum of 3 months
  • Able to work full time (approx. 40 hours/week)
  • Currently enrolled in an accredited American college or university and returning to school after the internship ends
  • In possession of a U.S. passport
  • Italian language ability is a necessity

VI. Procedure for Application

The U.S. student interested in applying for an internship at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, or the U.S. Consulate General in Milan, needs to complete and submit the following documents:

Forms should be emailed to office.rome@trade.gov or office.milan@trade.gov

Note that due to security clearance requirements applications must be received at least three months prior to proposed start date. Every intern has to receive a positive security check by the U.S. Government prior to the start of an internship.

VII. Frequently Asked Questions

1. What kind of work will I be doing?
Interns do a variety of tasks, from recruiting American companies for a trade show to writing market research reports. The actual work that an intern will do will depend on when the intern volunteers.

2. I am a citizen of Country X. Given my citizenship, am I eligible for the internship?
To be eligible for the internship, a student must be an American citizen.

3. I am graduating this summer and would like to intern in the fall after I've graduated. Can I do that?
Under 5, United States Code 3111, the term "student" is defined as an individual who is enrolled, not less than half-time, in a high school, trade school, technical or vocational institution. An individual who is a student is deemed not to have ceased being a student during an interim between school years of no more than five months. So, if you graduate before doing the internship, you would be eligible to do the internship during the school interim if you will be enrolled in another academic program within five months of having graduated. (You will be required to provide supporting documentation that you have been accepted into another program.)

4. Can I get some type of stipend or remuneration?
The internship is non-paid. Interns do not get stipends or remuneration of any kind.