The award-winning Acquisition Internship School (AIS) offers two tracks that are available to VA and other federal agencies. The cohort-based models focus on entry-level interns, create career-lasting networks, and lay a solid foundation for what it takes to be successful in the acquisition business. This approach allows interns to leverage and share the vast knowledge and expertise within the federal government acquisition community and apply innovative practices to help perform the acquisition function more effectively and efficiently. Both tracks, the Acquisition Intern Program (AIP) and Warriors to Workforce Program (W2W), are competency-based and include a holistic curriculum focused not only on technical contracting, but also skills including communication, program management, writing, leadership, creative thinking, risk management, and interpersonal competencies. The AIS received the prestigious Chief Acquisition Officers Council (CAOC) Team Acquisition Excellence Award in 2009 and again in 2013. The CAOC Award recognizes teams or individuals that have demonstrated excellence in federal acquisition management.
The Internship School learning curve is accelerated by the synergy of the program components, team building environment and collegial atmosphere. Interns create a team “stand” to declare what they stand for as a cohort and how they will approach their work throughout their career. Creativity is also enhanced from presentations by prominent academicians and acquisition and government leaders who inspire and motivate the interns.