The U.S. Commercial Service Internship Experience

Are you interested in working in a dynamic, fast-paced environment full of challenge? How about sharpening your job skills while building your resume? Or perhaps you would like to complement your academic expertise with international business training? If this sounds interesting, don't miss out on an opportunity to help U.S. companies engage the international marketplace!

As part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Commercial Service is the premier federal agency that helps companies to achieve exporting success. Our office in downtown Pittsburgh is part of a global network of more than 100 domestic offices and 150 international offices housed within U.S. Embassies and Consulates. We assist U.S. companies with entering new export markets and with increasing export sales and market share by providing market research, introducing foreign buyers to U.S. exporters, and advocating on behalf of American business interests in more than 80 countries worldwide!

How and When to Apply

Our internship program has 3 different terms (Spring, Summer, and Fall). One or Two term internships are available. 


Term Period

Application Period


January – May

July 15 – October 1


May – August

December 15 – March 1


September – December

April 15 – July 1

If you are interested in pursuing an internship with us, and you meet the eligibility requirements below, please email your resume and cover letter to Ryan Russell at Please include in the subject line the term for which you are applying.

What is the work environment?

We are a team of highly motivated professionals with a range of international business expertise. We are responsible for providing high-value consultation and guidance to companies making strategic business decisions. These decisions typically involve evaluating and entering new markets, increasing market share, financing export sales, product licensing, and selecting a distributor who will increase their company’s sales.

Typical Duties

  • Conduct foreign market research report preparation
  • Interact with client companies
  • Support Trade Events
  • Other administrative duties as required

Ideal Traits for our Interns

  • Hard-working individual who can multi-task and work in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong writing, communication, and analytical skills
  • Highly motivated and possesses good professional judgment

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must be at least a half-time student pursuing a bachelors or graduate degree.
  • You must be able to work 16 hours a week minimum during the fall/spring terms or 24 hours a week minimum during our summer term during our business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30AM-5:00PM.)

What can you expect from this internship?

The U.S. Commercial Service’s Pittsburgh office serves 36 counties in Western and Central Pennsylvania. Our internship program is designed to provide real world experience to complement academic lessons in international trade, international business, economics, and international affairs.

Through hands-on experience, interns will come to have a solid understanding of:

  • Problems confronting small to medium sized companies in the international marketplace
  • Role of international trade in a regional economy
  • Problems that confront policy makers as they attempt to open international markets for U.S. products

As part of the internship program, interns work closely with International Trade Specialists. Interns help to develop and prepare market research, match local companies with international opportunities, and answer export related questions from a wide variety of sources. Additionally, interns will have the chance to work on special projects.

Interns have the opportunity to plan, recruit for, and host seminars that feature government officials, visiting overseas staff, and market and industry specialists from Washington D.C. Interns schedule appointments for the visiting staff and accompany the visitors to the meetings to provide assistance. Interns are often given the responsibility of representing our office in a variety of venues. We believe in giving interns responsibility for projects and mentoring them as they develop.

Though the internship is unpaid and on a volunteer status, the valuable experience gained during the program can prove to be very beneficial in the future, especially if you are interested in working for the federal government. If you are eligible for work-study, it may be possible to arrange for you to be paid through your university’s work-study program. If you are seeking paid federal employment, please visit for a complete listing of job announcements.

If you are interested in applying for this internship, we would love to hear from you. Please email your resume and cover letter to Ryan Russell at Please include in the subject line the term for which you are applying.

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