It’s not very often that, during an internship, an intern gets the chance to lead others. But with the Digital Media Engagement (DME) team, this is a standard practice. Leadership positions open up throughout the internship year, giving interns the opportunity to contribute to new projects and leave their mark in their department by participating in practices like onboarding.
The DME leadership team includes division officers (DO), department heads (DH), the executive leadership team (ELT), executive officers (XO) and our internship coordinator, Dom. Each department has a XO, ELT and two DHs; DOs are sometimes added later, which several departments decided to do this year.
Since I became the writing department co-DH in June 2020, my duties have changed and expanded. My weekly responsibilities include checking the Veteran of the Day (VOD) and DME Intern blog boards, reading and answering messages on Slack, filling out metrics from reports, answering report questions and compiling weekly team emails.
Leadership also gets to do special tasks throughout the year. During the summer of 2020, the writing department worked with the editing DHs and ELTs to create both a department bootcamp and mock VOD training from scratch. We tried to base the bootcamp and training on things we wished we had known when starting the internship in 2019 and what writing and editing a VOD entailed. The leadership team also chooses which interns to nominate for bi-annual letters of recommendation (LORs), which are very useful for job applications.
As an intern leader, you learn to create new programs or positions based on intern needs. For example, the writing and editing departments decided to start hosting monthly office hours or social events on Zoom. Not only did this give interns a chance to meet each other, but it also allowed leadership to answer questions and get to know their departments better. During the fall, the writing department also decided to create two DO positions based on the need for VOD board maintenance. My co-DH Jewel and I interviewed potential candidates, created training sessions and decided what kind of work we wanted the writing DOs to do.
Becoming co-DH was my first time in a leadership position and I was initially unsure about what that might be like. But as part of the DME leadership team, I have developed my collaboration and communication skills and learned more about workplace processes, such as developing project proposals and conducting position training.
So, if you get the chance to become part of our team leadership, don’t hesitate to apply! You’ll be amazed at the opportunities and experiences you’ll get to have.
Writer: Sarah Concepcion
Editors: Alli P and Julia Pack
Graphic Designer: Katie Rahill