Park Authority

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

TTY 711

12055 Government Center Pkwy.
Fairfax, Virginia 22035

Jai Cole,
Executive Director

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Internship Opportunities with Fairfax County Park Authority


The Intern Program

The Fairfax County Park Authority is proud of its ability and opportunity to provide a variety of intern programs for individuals seeking on-the-job experience in all aspects of Park Authority operations. The agency intern program boasts a well-established history dating back to the 1960's. The program has changed throughout the years, growing and adapting to meet the ever-changing needs of the park and recreation profession.  There is no limit to the number of interns accepted, though summer numbers tend to run from 20-35.  The selected number of interns is based on staff available to supervise, available challenging work, and qualifications of the interns. 

The Park Authority offers internships in a sincere effort to provide a quality, diversified program in which students from a wide variety of educational disciplines have the opportunity to apply traditional academic classroom learning to actual work experience within the Park Authority, in order to develop personal and professional skills for future career development and placement.

Types of Internships

The Park Authority offers four categories of internships within most of its five divisions of operation. The categories of internships are as follows:


An internship which is required by a university or college to obtain an undergraduate or graduate degree in a chosen field.
In order to qualify for this type of internship, you must:

  • Hold a junior or senior standing in a four year degree program, be enrolled in the last semester of a two year degree program, or be enrolled in the second half of a graduate program.
  • Have a major grade point average of at least 2.0 (3.0 graduate GPA).
  • Demonstrate strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Have strong initiative and the ability to work independently.
  • Follow FCPA outlined application process;
  • follow all FCPA applicable policies and procedures.
  • Meet division specified qualifications.

Applicant must be enrolled in educational training, leading  to certification in a specific technical service, trade or skill. In order to qualify for this type of internship, applicants must meet the division specified qualifications.

In order to qualify for this type of internship, you must meet the division specified qualifications.

An internship for individuals seeking hands-on experience in a field related to their academic training, and/or re-entering the field after a period of absence. Included may be those university/college students wishing an internship for experience, but which is not required to obtain a degree. This type of internship request is usually considered on a case-by-case basis, and is not offered in every division. Undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students are eligible.

In order to qualify for this type of internship, you must:

  • Meet the qualifications for University/College Internships.
  • Meet the specified division qualifications.

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How the Program Works

The FCPA contact person is the Intern Program Coordinator, Matthew Peters.
Following initial contact with the agency, the Intern Program Coordinator will refer you to the division of your choice. You will be referred to the Division Intern Contact who will be responsible for your interview, hire, placement, training, assignment, and evaluation.
Depending on the type of internship and the division in which it is being held, most internships run 10 weeks or 400 hours.
Most Fairfax County Park Authority internships are unpaid. Select paid opportunities are available as funding allows.
The applicant is required to have their own means of transportation in order to get to and from work. Intern assignments occasionally require varying work schedules throughout the County. The applicant may be required to utilize their personal vehicle to conduct agency business.
A structured orientation program will be provided to interns during their first few weeks on the job. A meeting with senior managers and the Park Authority Board will be scheduled.
Depending on your type of internship, you will most likely be required to complete a special project, weekly reports, and a final exit briefing or presentation. You will be provided with a written and verbal evaluation of your performance by your immediate supervisor.

Student Benefits

The Park Authority intern program affords each intern opportunities for both career enhancement and personal growth. These benefits include:

Resume Building:

Park Authority Internships provide the experience and benefit of having worked for an award winning organization with a nationally known and respected reputation.

Results Oriented Work Experience:

The program is structured to provide each student with a visible end product and a sense of pride and accomplishment, as well as an important building block for your resume.

Agency Benefits

The Park Authority believes an intern program should be mutually beneficial to both the student and the organization. Our intention is to provide students with an experience that fosters both professional growth and self-expression. In return, we expect you to have good core work habits – strong communication skills, a demonstrated ability to effectively complete assignments and knowledge which is sufficient to adequately carry out and complete your internship project. FCPA can benefit from your enthusiasm and project support which allows us to accomplish tasks that may not otherwise receive timely completion.

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