Why Should I Do an Internship?

At some point in their college career, most students consider taking up an internship alongside their schoolwork. It can be stressful to find one, though, and often there is confusion about what you should look for. Here are some ideas about what skills and experiences you could look out for, specifically with the VA’s Digital Media Engagement (DME) team.

One of the biggest benefits of an internship with the DME team is the experience. Interns gain experience in a professional, virtual work environment for the federal government. For those interested in a future career with the government, or any organization, having experience working for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs is a great addition to your resume. Interning with the DME also allows you to network with other interns and VA employees from all sorts of backgrounds, which can help with future work opportunities.

Along with being a great resume builder, a DME internship also provides new hard skills and practice, no matter what your interest is. Writers gain experience in research and writing, editors gain experience in editing and AP style, graphic designers gain experience in PhotoShop and design and our web and social media teams get hands-on experience with online platforms like WordPress, Instagram and YouTube. No matter what path you take in an internship, though, you also get to develop those elusive “soft skills.” Communication is key in any position, and even more so in a virtual internship with people working on many different schedules and in many time zones. Time management is another useful skill to be gained. While students have plenty of experience handling deadlines, school tends to be much more structured than professional work environments, where interns must work efficiently and fulfill all their hours each week.

Finally, working with the DME provides a unique experience. It allows interns to honor the Veterans that have served our country by spreading their stories to a wider audience, all while working with a great team along the way. DME works to put out all sorts of content to raise awareness about Veterans’ stories, like through our #VeteranOfTheDay posts, and various resources that Veterans can access. There’s something for everyone at DME, and if you’re in the market for an internship, it is a great choice for gaining experience, building up skills and making connections all within 10 hours per week.

Writer: Nolan Lounsbery

Editors: Alexander Reza, Merrit Pope

Graphic Designer: Kiki Kelley

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