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Aim Hire: Making the Grade

This month’s Aim Hire episode delved into the student and intern realm of Air Force Civilian Service (AFCS). Packed with great tips and important information, Jesse Diaz hosted his panelists Maggie Silva, Kevin McFarland, and Brenna Cyr in explaining what internship and leadership opportunities AFCS has to offer for current students and recent graduates. In addition to the recorded webinar, please find a summary of the important information from the event. We hope you find this information helpful in your career journey.

Premier College Intern Program (PCIP)

PCIP is traditionally a 10 to 12-week summer internship program before your senior year that provides students the opportunity to work side by side with Air Force professionals in their chosen field. PCIP has a number of career fields they offer opportunities with, from Cyber and IT to Science and Engineering, Logistics, Financial Management, and many more. Candidates apply for the overall program and once accepted are placed in a career field by program managers based on their majors, area of interest, and other factors.

Brenna knows firsthand what it’s like being an intern with AFCS as she was a first-year PCIP in 2018 pursuing HR before transitioning into the PALACE Acquire Program for recent graduates. “I wanted to intern with the AFCS because I knew it could be more than just a job and it would lead to a career.” PCIP is dedicated to training current students and setting them up for both professional and real-world success with AFCS.

To learn more about PCIP, visit

PALACE Acquire (PAQ) & Copper Cap (COP) Programs

The PAQ and COP programs are 2 to 3-year deliberate, professional development programs. These programs were created to develop and train the future Civilian leaders of the Air Force. This is important and valuable to recent graduates because it can give them a vision of where their experience can take them. And when you successfully complete the PAQ or COP program, you may qualify for a permanent, full-time position as a civilian in the Air Force.

Maggie explains the main difference between the PAQ and COP programs at 18:41.

To learn more about opportunities at AFCS for recent graduates, visit

Last Remarks

The panelists were extremely encouraging during this episode and wanted to give the audience some time to ask questions. Here are some timestamps we think could be helpful for you:

  • PAQ eligibility dependent on PCIP completion? 13:27
  • Not sure if you qualify? 43:40
  • What does career progression look like? 47:41