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College internships support the Hanscom acquisition community

Student interns participating in the Air Force’s Premier College Intern Program pause for a photo at the Maj. Charles B. Hall Memorial Air Park after touring Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., in June 2019. PCIP is designed to attract high-caliber candidates currently enrolled full time in college who are seeking a career with the Air Force Civilian Service. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Contracting Directorate - Operating Location Hanscom has been allocated six PCIP internships for fiscal year 2022 for placement in their operational contracting division. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ron Mullan)

Student interns participating in the Air Force’s Premier College Intern Program pause for a photo at the Maj. Charles B. Hall Memorial Air Park after touring Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., in June 2019. PCIP is designed to attract high-caliber candidates currently enrolled full time in college who are seeking a career with the Air Force Civilian Service. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Contracting Directorate - Operating Location Hanscom has been allocated six PCIP internships for fiscal year 2022 for placement in their operational contracting division. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ron Mullan)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – A Hanscom contracting team is utilizing college internship programs to support the Air Force acquisition community.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Contracting Directorate - Operating Location Hanscom provides college juniors the opportunity to gain experience in government contracting through the Premier College Intern Program. This summer internship can lead to additional internships and opportunities, including a career as a Department of the Air Force civilian contract specialist.

“PCIP lets students gain exposure to government contract management work and understand what our mission is,” said Mark Throckmorton, resource management specialist, AFLCMC Contracting Directorate - OL Hanscom. “The program provides interns the chance to experience the daily activities of a contract specialist through a formal training program tailored to fit the needs of the intern as well as the organization. If there is a match, then the summer internship can parlay into a full-time internship position after graduation.”

According to Throckmorton, PCIP interns are placed into Hanscom’s operational contracting division and typically work on service, supply, and construction contracts for the upkeep of the installation. Over the summer, PCIPs learn how to conduct market research, review solicitations and evaluate proposals to assist with placing bids for government projects. They also conduct site visits, attend briefings, and read and review contract documents.

PCIP interns are assigned a mentor at the beginning of the program and shadow a contracting officer throughout.

“Being in operational contracting gives the interns the opportunity to learn more about the job by allowing them to work through the entire acquisition process,” said Throckmorton. “These smaller dollar value projects, like construction of a new playground, for example, can be wrapped up by the end of the summer. So before they return to class, the students get a chance to see others enjoying what they helped create.”  

After receiving their degrees, students are eligible to return to Hanscom to complete a full-time internship through the Copper Cap Program. Undergraduate Copper Cap interns begin their careers in the rank of GS-7, but after fulfilling time in grade, formal training, and other requirements, individuals can receive promotions to GS-12 in just over three years. Graduate interns can receive promotions to GS-12 in just over two years.

Following these internships, candidates can be placed in permanent vacancies, either at Hanscom or at a wide variety of Air Force operating locations. 

Each of the functional areas, like program management, financial management, engineering and logistics, receive PCIP allocations every year from their career field teams in the fall for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Hanscom Contracting Directorate has been allocated six PCIP internships for fiscal year 2022.

According to Throckmorton, ideal candidates are those pursuing business, finance, economics or other related degrees. Any applicant must be a U.S. citizen, a full-time student currently enrolled in an accredited college or university in their junior year of study, and in good academic standing with a grade point average of 2.95 or higher. Additionally, applicants can be full-time graduate students with at least 15 semester hours of completed graduate coursework.

Interested candidates can submit resumes at aflcmc.pkxa.resumes@us.af.mil