Internships with the U.S. Commercial Service in Portland, Oregon
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121 SW Salmon St.
Portland, OR 97204
United States

Gain experience in the world of international trade and the role of government in helping Oregon and SW Washington businesses with their exporting needs!

Thank you for your interest in interning with the Portland, OR office of the U.S. Commercial Service. Our office offers both virtual and in-person internships, and we accept applicants year-round.

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, and

The U.S. Commercial Service Internship Experience

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 Portland, Oregon, is part of a global network of more than 100 domestic offices and 75 international offices. We assist U.S. companies with entering international 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 worldwide!

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 advice and guidance to companies making strategic business decisions. These decisions typically involve evaluating and entering new markets, increasing market share, resolving problems with overseas customers, financing export sales, product licensing, and selecting a distributor who will increase their company’s sales. Because we know how vital these decisions are, and that the market never sleeps, we emphasize accuracy and speed.

What can you expect from this internship?

The U.S. Commercial Service’s Portland OR office serves the state of Oregon and southwest Washington. Our internship program is designed to provide real world experience to complement academic lessons in international trade, international business, economics, marketing, design, communication, data analytics, international law, 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 policymakers as they attempt to open international markets for U.S. products.
  • Working in a Federal Government office.
  • Engaging with local, city, state governments and business partners.

As part of the internship program, interns work closely with International Trade Specialists. Interns help to develop and prepare market research, conduct promotional outreach, get an in-depth understanding of client relationship management (CRM) systems, and a wide array of other responsibilities. Additionally, interns will also have the chance to work on client engagement and larger 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, the valuable experience gained during the program can prove to be very beneficial in the future, especially if the intern is interested in working for the federal government. If you are seeking paid Federal employment, please visit
for a complete listing of job announcements.

Qualities We Look For in an Intern

  • Strong interest in professional experience to complement academic background
  • Solid analytical skills
  • Self-motivation and professionalism
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must be at least a half-time student pursuing a bachelor’s or graduate degree.
  • You must be able to work a minimum of 10 hours a week.
  • The minimum requirement for the duration of an internship is three months, but we recommend longer commitments (6 months, or more) so interns can get a deeper understanding of our various platforms and systems, get appropriately trained for client engagement, and assure completion of longer projects.