Mykala Harris: Federal Diversity Intern at the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (New Orleans, LA)

federal_diversity_internship_initiative

Oh, the last summer before graduation! It is bittersweet as I know when I return in the fall, it will be my last year at Albright College. The first three years have flown by as everyone said they would. As a first generation college student, I started off college wanting to explore and complete everything that I could before I walked across the stage in May 2017. The journey has been long, but beneficial to my future endeavors and success. The Experiential and Career Development Center (ELCDC) here at Albright College has been very supportive on my road to self-growth by extending opportunities and assisting in exploring different options for career success.

When I thought about what I wanted to do with my last summer as a semi-adult, I knew I would complete an internship. (I thought about studying abroad again, but I think I will hold off until Alternative Spring Break!) I applied to many different internships that included sales, retail, and banking. However, I came across a competitive internship through the Washington Center. It was a program where many people apply, but few get selected. (Kind of like Google). Out of over 800 applicants, only 80 were selected for the regional program.

Furthermore, The Washington Center has many different programs under its organization, but I chose to apply for the Federal Diversity internship. It is aimed toward minority students who have above a 3.0 GPA. The program pays for housing, your transportation to and from your chosen city, and you are given a stipend for the summer that is distributed twice a month. The Federal Diversity Program does place you around the country, so you have the option to intern anywhere within the USA. If you apply, you have to be willing to relocate. I fit the criteria and everything was paid for, so I applied.

Now after applying for internships or any program, there is the “Waiting Game.” I call it the waiting game because you are anxiously waiting to hear back from a recruiter or staff member to say that you have qualified for the next round of interviews or that you are the perfect fit for their company. Neither is true for the Washington Center. Either you get a call, or email, that says you were selected or denied. The Washington Center was my top choice, so I waited to hear back before I chose to intern with another company that I had in my back pocket. I was selected as 1 of 80 and I could not be more excited. My location was going to be in New Orleans, LA and I became even more excited! Anyone who knows me, knows I love to explore new cultures and travel. New Orleans could not have been a more perfect place!

Program Info: http://www.twc.edu/internships/additional-programs/federal-diversity-internship-initiative

 

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