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Recruitment 411: Interesting Insights from Interns – Part 4

This is the fourth part of our series exploring a few of our interns’ views on life as a govie.

Let’s be honest, these days telling people you work for the government can result in interesting and often blunt responses. When I tell people I work at the IRS, nine times out of ten, I get some unoriginal line like, “I pay my taxes, I promise.” They automatically assume that because I work at the IRS, I must be an accountant. Wrong.

I asked our interns how their friends and family reacted to the news that they were interning at the IRS.

Chris Layton – Stockton College, New Jersey

Some of them say “You are working for one of the most powerful organizations in the world, that’s great.” It’s also a little intimidating but exciting too.

Some of my friends jokingly say: “Whatever you do, don’t audit me!”

Stephanie Lee – Nichols College, Massachusetts

My friends were all really proud and excited when I told them I was coming to Washington for an internship with the IRS. They were very supportive of my decision to apply to come to D.C. When I confirmed that I was actually coming here, they gave me the “see I knew you would make it” speech.

Some of my friends that I haven’t talked to in a while are shocked and ask “really?” when I tell them I’m at the IRS in Washington, D.C. I simply reply with a big smile on my face “yes.” Then they often congratulate me. It’s a good feeling to be able to say that I worked for the IRS. Hopefully I will be offered a permanent position after graduation in May 2013, to continue my government career.

Papa Mbengue – Catholic University of America, Washington D.C.

My friends congratulated me and said I must be making some good money now. They also assumed that I will be very busy dealing with taxes and numbers. The majority of people think that IRS is all about taxes and tax fraud investigations.

What’s the most memorable response you’ve gotten after telling someone you’re a govie?

Recruitment 411 is the official blog of the IRS Recruitment Office.

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Jeff Ribeira

These responses are great. I imagine most agencies have their stereotypes, but I can see how the IRS in particular gets the short end of the stick when it comes to misunderstood organizations.

I’m currently not a government employee, but I did move from California to Washington DC a few years ago and I’ve gotten plenty of interesting commentary from family and friends about that. Mostly they’re just plain confused as to why I’d want to leave California in the first place 🙂