Departments

Department Head Information

Department Head Description

Department Heads are interns who manage departments within the DME Internship Program.

These Department Heads assume responsibility for their assigned project area by ensuring work progress, answering questions, and addressing feedback. Department Heads also communicate intern concerns to the Internship Supervisor and advise the Internship Supervisor on revisions to internship program policies. This internship builds leadership and communication skills in a virtual environment through coordinating with interns to ensure timely task completion. Department Heads collect weekly reports for interns assigned to their team and champion team members for rewards such as recommendation letters, letters of appreciation, and LinkedIn endorsements. They are expected to coordinate or delegate responsibilities to Interns and Division Officers that they supervise and regularly collect results on key metrics. Department Heads may also be asked to attend infrequent conference calls on important internship program tasks.

Prospective Department Heads must have prior experience in project management, leadership and responsibility. While theys need not have specific expertise in their project area, it can be helpful (e.g. a Graphic Design Department Head need not have prior graphic design experience, but can be greatly helped by having it). Prior project management certifications (e.g. PMP) and experience with project planning software (e.g. Microsoft Project) are beneficial but not required.

Please visit the DME Team Internship Structure page for detail on the hierarchical relationship between Department Heads and other individuals within the internship program.

How to Apply

If you wish to apply to become a Department Head or would like more information on the application process, please visit the How to Apply page on this site.

Accessibility Department Information 

Accessibility Department Description

Many US Veterans come home with disabilities. Among these individuals, individuals with sight or hearing disabilities require special software to access the web and digital media content. Accessibility interns do the hard and careful work of ensuring that those disabled Veterans have the same opportunity to learn about benefits and services that VA provides as everyone else, in accordance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Their work ensures that the content on the Department of Veterans Affairs website and other VA communication platforms is formatted in a way that it is accessible to Veterans with disabilities.

This internship involves ensuring the accessibility (remediation) of documents that are currently posted on the Department of Veterans Affairs website, or any documents that are submitted in the future for posting on the website. Interns translate complex visual elements into alternate text for easy reading by screen readers to assist the visually impaired use. Interns also participate in a variety of other tasks such as transcribing YouTube videos or podcast episodes.

Prospective interns are required to have access to Adobe Acrobat CC, editing and proofreading skills, and a desire to help those with visual and auditory disabilities.

How to Apply

Please visit the How to Apply page for application details if you are interested in interning in this department.

Prior Year Team History

In 2018-2019, accessibility department team members have had to utilize their proofreading and editing skills to remediate documents for a major Veterans affairs archival project. This project included several word documents and pdf files containing speeches, newsletters, and other vital resources related to the department. Additionally, our department has taken on several remediation projects for other groups related to the veterans affairs department including: Booz-Allen, The Homeless Veterans Project, and The Center for Minority Veterans.
Interns for the 2019-2020 term will be responsible for editing and remediating the VAnguard newsletter, which serves all VA employees, for publication on the website.

Analytics Department Information

Analytics Department Description

The Analytics Department Team is responsible for analyzing the metrics on the Veterans Affairs online social media channels.Our social media accounts and VAntage Point Blog share stories of encouragement and offer vital information to Veterans with a reach of over 2 million viewers!

By investigating the data, analytics interns provide the measurements that reveal our strengths and opportunities as it relates to reaching out to Veterans through our platforms. Analytics interns utilize tools to gather, clean, and analyze data from our social media accounts and the VAntage Point Blog. The visual charts and written reports that interns create will guide the decisions made that ultimately help us better serve our Veteran audience.

The Analytics Department in the DME’s Internship Program consists of Social Media Analyst Interns (for Social Analytics) and Web Analyst Interns (for Web Analytics). Prospective interns should have experience in Microsoft Excel/Google Sheets, Microsoft Word/Google Docs, critical thinking skills, writing reports, and prior education in data analysis.

Social Analytics Interns play an integral role in analyzing metrics on the VA’s online and social media channels. Interns work in Salesforce Social Studio to analyze the metrics for content in various social media channels, using data to provide insights on audience reception of content, strengths, weaknesses, improvement opportunities, etc. Social Analytics interns work with Google Analytics data for the VA’s official blog, VAntage Point. These interns may also review and add appropriate labels to social media posts to improve metric accuracy, provide metrics in response to internal queries, develop performance reports for social media campaigns, and more.

Prospective interns should have strong research skills and knowledge or experience managing social media platforms, including but not limited to FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube. Prospective interns should have skill, coursework, or experience in data analysis.

How to Apply

Please visit the How to Apply page for application details if you are interested in interning in this department.

 

Prior Year Team History

The Social Media Analyst Internship and the Web Analyst Internship were created in 2019-2020 in order to perform data analyses on the performance of posts from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ official social media accounts and the VAntage Point Blog.

Social Media Analyst Interns worked on Salesforce Social Studio, preparing thousands of posts for analyses with labels, pulling metrics about various topics for reports, and skimming thousands of social media comments to identify questions from Veterans. Social Media Analyst Interns obtained metrics for a variety of projects: the Memorial May campaign, 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, analyses on Social Content of the Day posts, metrics from posts with for-profit sources, VA News stats, monthly #EndVeteranHomelessness reports, the Live Whole Health campaign, #VeteranOfTheDay post comparisons, and COVID-19 metrics.

Over the past year, Web Analyst Interns utilized Google Analytics and other analytics software to provide metrics on user engagement and content reach. The team has worked to identify unique and popular posts and worked to derive actionable insights to influence future contenders planning, creation, and delivery. Some of our projects included analyzing #VeteranOfTheDay posts, understanding content reach by non-profits, the influence of nonprofit versus private companies on our audience, the Live Whole Health campaign, COVID-19 metrics, Page Load Time issues, and Insight into the Past.

Editing Department Information

Editing Department Description

Editing Interns refine content that the VA DME Team and interns produce so that millions of individuals engaged with the VAntage Point blog and social media channels enjoy well-presented content. After other interns write and submit a blog post, editing interns review these posts for accuracy, typos, adherence to VA style, and Director preferences. Editing Interns will often work with the VA’s social media platforms and accordingly use Salesforce Social Studio to schedule social content across these platforms.

Prospective interns show past content editing experience for a school newspaper, blog, newsletter, publication, or other communication platform. Prior social media management experience is helpful but not required. 

How to Apply

Please visit the How to Apply page for application details if you are interested in interning in this department.  

Prior Year Team History

DME Editing Interns work alongside Writing interns to complete blog and article write-ups, taking additional care to abide by Associated Press (AP) Style guidelines and uphold the high professional standard of the VA. From August 2019 to May 2020, the Editing Department hosted at most 20+ interns, who contributed 2240 total hours to the internship; this amounted to 220 hours/month and 56 hours/week, on average. Each Editing intern contributed an average of 220 hours over the nine-month period, for a monthly average of 22 hours and weekly average of five. Like their Writing intern counterparts, Editing interns work on posts for Veteran of the Day, Special Projects, the Vet Resources Newsletter, Reddit (i.e. Veterans in the News), Instagram and various other assignments.

 

Graphic Design Department Information

Graphic Design Department Description

Graphic Design Interns learn the fundamentals of operating in a cabinet-level agency while reaching out to nearly 21 million Veterans and their family members with important information about compensation, health care, education and other benefits. Graphic Design Interns plan, design, develop, modify, and complete visual information projects for web-based visual media products to communicate with Veterans, their family members and the public on matters affecting their daily lives from health care and insurance to monetary compensation and suicide prevention. Graphic Design interns contribute in diverse ways to VA content such as through producing graphics for special projects such as A Veteran’s Story and the Veteran of the Day graphics, and editing photos published on the VA’s Instagram channel.

The Graphic Design department includes Division Officers who work extensively on A Veteran’s Story and #OperationSong as well as with other internship departments, notably Web and Instagram.

Prospective interns should review previously created graphics (such as the graphic on this page, this Veteran of the Day graphic and this graphic for A Veteran’s Story) as they represent the minimum level of quality expected of them. A prospective intern should have their own computer, their own license to Adobe Photoshop, and proficiency in using Adobe Photoshop.

How to Apply

Please visit the How to Apply page for application details if you are interested in interning in this department.

Prior Year Team History

In 2019-2020, the Graphic Design Department focused on the VODs, AVSs, other special projects, and projects that are outsourced from other VA departments. This past year a majority of the projects from other VA departments were to create banners and posters that were hung up in VA sites. Most of them were health related, and about the importance of taking care of both physical and mental health. It’s a resource for Veterans and their families that showcases different programs, resources, and events for them. We will share remarkable stories, special deals from organizations that may be going on for Veterans, etc. It’s an easy way to compile different resources for them to see. We also share posts from the blog each week, as well as updates to the News Releases from the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs on the VA website. Each week it is sent to around 11,000,000 people.

Human Resources Department Information

Human Resources Department Description

The Human Resources Internship was created in the 2018-2019 school year to assist in the management of intern selection, training, and professional development. Human Resources Interns help onboard new interns, develop procedures and policies for the internship program, develop and lead weekly discussions on career development, answering intern questions about job interview processes, and compiling LinkedIn profiles and resumes of interns.

Prospective interns should have strong attention to detail, excellent writing skills, experience working in a dynamic team environment, a desire to cultivate and manage a diverse workplace, and a desire to help others grow professionally.

The Human Resources Department Head also supervises Division Officers for the Turnover and Recruiter Internships. Please visit those pages for additional information on those internships.

How to Apply

Please visit the How to Apply page for application details if you are interested in interning in this department.

Prior Year Team History

Social Media Department Information

Social Media Department Description

Social Media Interns work within one of three sub-departments: Instagram, Comment
Moderation, or Social Media Special Projects.

Instagram interns to determine which local, veteran-related activities will be posted to VA’s
official Instagram and shared with nearly 240,000 followers. In doing so, Instagram interns
promote and encourage VA programs, community engagement, and veteran well-being. Interns
will research and submit potential posts on the Instagram Trello board and edit captions
according to a set procedure.

Comment Moderation interns create a negativity- and violence-free zone by monitoring and
flagging comments on VA’s official social media, such as Instagram and Facebook, using Salesforce Social Studio. Most importantly, interns will watch for harmful or troubling
comments made by Veterans and refer them to the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) for immediate
intervention.

Social Media Special Projects intern engage in content curation through various miscellaneous
projects. Interns may submit potential posts on the Content Calendar Trello board, develop VA
Instagram Stories, schedule VAntage Point & DME Interns blog content on social media, post
articles to the subreddit, and/or manage the DME Interns socials.

How to Apply

Please visit the How to Apply page for application details if you are interested in interning in this department.

Prior Year Team History

This year, the Social Media team has done some amazing work. The team was founded as part of the umbrella department under social media, as early as 2018. Interns have helped draft and schedule an average of 43% of all posts, per month, for the VA’s Instagram account. Social Media interns have scheduled 444 posts, showcasing events and programs from VA affiliated medical centers and healthcare centers and amplifying them to the VA’s national audience. Content worked on by Social Media interns have led to a rise in follower base for the VA’s Instagram account; it is currently at 236,000 followers which is more than a 100% increase from the previous year.

Newsletter Department Information

Newsletter Department Description

The Newsletter team is responsible for national and internal communications through newsletters. Interns work on the weekly Veteran Resources newsletter that reaches an audience of over 11 million, the weekly Internship newsletter that informs and connects DME interns, and the monthly Podcast newsletter that recaps the VA’s podcasts from the previous month.

Newsletter interns create and organize each newsletter, working closely with VA staff and other DME departments. The aim is to make it both visually appealing and helpful to recipients. You will learn to use GovDelivery, the email marketing system in use at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Prospective interns should have the following skills: research, oral comprehension and expression, writing, monitoring, multi-tasking, active listening, critical thinking, reading comprehension, interpersonal communications, time management, and organizational skills. Experience with Slack and Trello is a plus, though not required.

How to Apply: Please visit the How to Apply page for application details if you are interested in interning in this department.

Prior Year Team History: The Newsletter department was created in January 2021 to meet the demand for more newsletters and streamlined communication. Previously, newsletter interns worked under the Editing department in the VetResources division.

Photo Finder Department Information

Photo Finder Department Description

Photo Finder Interns ensure that the VAntage Point blog’s new stories, VA social media channels, and other media projects feature quality images. Photo Finders search the Internet, federal agencies, and VA social media channels for high quality, copyright-free images and create a repository of photos for use by fellow DME interns and other VA content creators. These images may depict various VA Medical Centers, cemeteries, monuments, Veteran programs, Veterans during conflicts, Veterans using various weapons, etc. Photo Finder Interns must also add relevant tags to images on the VAntage Point blog.

Prospective interns should have strong research ability and attention to detail to find and select quality graphics.

How to Apply

Please visit the How to Apply page for application details if you are interested in interning in this department.

Prior Year Team History

Photofinders Department was started in 2018 and has grown and is now part of the Researching department. Photofinders and Researchers serve a vital role in this program and help to insure we have all the correct information and great photos to use for our media.

 

Podcast Department Information

Podcast Department Description

Podcast Interns directly supports the host and producer of the Borne the Battle Podcast. The Borne the Battle Podcast aims to promote Veteran advocacy, inspire Veterans, keep Veterans updated with new VA information, promote Veteran advocacy, and educate VA employees about the Veteran population.

Podcast Interns perform various tasks to support the Borne the Battle Podcast. The Coordinating Producer Intern assists in developing the concept, guest schedule, and promotion of podcast episodes. Podcast Transcription Interns transcribe podcast episodes once every two weeks to ensure that all audience members have access to podcast content. The Podcast Production Assistant Interns develop video compilations, episode highlights, and other video content that supports the podcast. Podcast Project Manager Interns manage Podcast Intern workflows and perform other tasks delegated by the Borne the Battle Podcast host to ensure excellent podcast production.

The Podcast Department includes a Division Officer for Video Production work due to the growing importance of developing video content to disseminate the podcast to a wider audience.

Prospective interns should have listened to multiple episodes of the Borne the Battle podcast prior to applying and have a strong desire to serve Veterans and highlight their stories. Successful Podcast Interns should have an understanding of 508 standards for accessibility compliance, excellent grammar, organizational abilities, communication skills, and project management abilities. Successful Podcast Interns are expected to have their own Internet access, computer, necessary software to perform work.

How to Apply

Please visit the How to Apply page for application details if you are interested in interning in this department.

Prior Year Team History

The Podcast team helps produce the Borne the Battle podcast, the official podcast of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The 2019 – 2020 team recruited and coordinated guest appearances on the podcast through various methods of communication. They transcribed the episodes to make them Section 508 compatible, opening them to audience members with disabilities. The writing interns wrote blogs, social media posts, and newsletters while the graphics interns produced the videos and created graphics for the blogs and social media posts. During the school year, over 40 episodes were produced and released.

 

Researchers Department Information

Researchers Department Description

The VA’s content is disseminated across various social media channels and reaches millions of followers. As such, the accuracy and appropriateness of information are critical to ensure that featured Veterans get the respect they deserve or that audiences are informed about the correct facts. Fact Checking Interns also called “Researchers”, are the cornerstone of all of the DME Team’s produced content as they ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of information disseminated in the VA’s Social Media platforms and on the VAntage Point blog. Fact Checking Interns ensure that graphics contain accurate and appropriate information, that written materials’ facts are correct and have appropriate content, and that blog post graphics use images that are appropriate and copyright free. If the content is delivered with inaccurate information, it not only distracts from the quality of the content but is a disservice to the Veteran who is featured. As such, Fact Checking interns are expected to exercise meticulous attention to detail at all times.

The Fact Checking department includes Division Officers who work extensively on A Veteran’s Story and #OperationSong as well as with other internship departments, notably Writing and Instagram.

Prospective interns should have excellent research skills, writing skills, strong attention to detail, and strong teamwork skills. Prior Trello experience is recommended. Though not required, knowledge of military medals, uniforms, and equipment (e.g. types of ships, tanks, aircraft, weapons, etc.) and of US military history is beneficial.

How to Apply

Please visit the How to Apply page for application details if you are interested in interning in this department.

Prior Year Team History

Researchers Department has grown from a small team of less than 10 to over 30 for the 2019-2020 year. Researchers Department since the start has worked on over 400 Veteran Profiles. The Researchers team this year has found and corrected over 300 mistakes and corrections.

Special Projects Information

Special Projects Description

The Special Projects team is responsible for working on writing assignments for Operation Song and A Veteran’s Story. All Special Projects interns are home-based in another department but have the opportunity to join Special Projects based on performance and other factors

How to Apply

Please visit the How to Apply page for application details if you are interested in interning in this department.

Prior Year Team History

Operation Song and  A Veteran’s Story (AVS) are part of the DME Special Projects Department. The Operation Song Team works with Operation Song, a non-profit organization based in Tennessee that helps put Veterans’ stories and experiences into a song. Interns interview Veterans who have used their service to share and highlight their experiences as well as the benefits from using unconventional therapies. Operation Song and Special Projects interns normally hail from the Writing Department. From August 2019 to May 2020, there were approximately 11 Operation Song interns who worked on Operation Song write-ups. From February to May 2020, there were four total write-ups completed.

Web Content Department Information

Web Content Department Description

The Web Department in the DME’s Internship Program consists of the Web Development Internship and Web Content Management Internship. Prospective interns should have a WordPress experience, strong communication skills, and an understanding of web development (especially front-end web development). Trello experience is strongly recommended for Web Content Management interns.

How to Apply

Please visit the How to Apply page for application details if you are interested in interning in this department.

Prior Year Team History

The Web Content Management Internship is a new program created in 2019-2020 to help streamline web communications with key stakeholders interested in Veteran’s Affairs. Web Content Management Interns work with content-producing interns (especially those producing material for the VAntage Point blog) by taking materials on Trello and synthesizing them into WordPress posts prior to official publication. Web Content Management Interns also assist Web Development interns in saving important information shared in e-mails or Slack messages within the DME Team and present them on password-protected parts of this website.

Web Development Department Information

Web Development Department Description

The Web Department in the DME’s Internship Program consists of the Web Development Internship and Web Content Management Internship. Prospective interns should have a WordPress experience, strong communication skills, and an understanding of web development (especially front-end web development). Trello experience is strongly recommended for Web Content Management interns.

How to Apply

Please visit the How to Apply page for application details if you are interested in interning in this department.

Web Development 2020-2021

2020-2021 Web Development Interns work on our internship website, https://www.dmeinterns.org.  Team members will have access to a development site.  The DH will move content or implement changes to the live site.

Team members may be called upon to install or update plugins and themes, modify WordPress settings, update theme settings, create sliders, edit pages using various page builders, update menus, widgets and page settings as well as managing users, updating SEO metadata, work on CSS, and maybe even do some custom coding too.

You are joining a team of fellow interns just like yourself.  Your DH is also an intern.  This is our second year recruiting interns from the VSFS program.  We have had great success in the past working with interns just like you and look forward to continuing that record!

Prior Year Team History:

The Web Development Internship was created in 2018-2019 in an effort to upgrade the VAntage Point blog and better manage communications among internship stakeholders (both internal and external). Web Development Interns in 2018-2019 reviewed a previously-completed Usability Audit Review to improve the VAntage Point blog, determined appropriate upgrades from this Usability Audit Review, chose a more modern theme using sites such as Themeforest, and built a mock blog that led to the modification of the VAntage Point blog. Web Development Interns developed this DME Internship Website in 2018-2019. Interns in 2019-2020 are responsible for managing internship website permissions, adding new pages and content to the internship website, updating the internship website to present accurate and current information for external parties, and offering suggestions on future upgrades of the VAntage Point blog.

 

 

 

Writing Department Information

Writing Department Description

Writing Interns learn the fundamentals of operating in a cabinet-level agency while reaching out to nearly 21 million Veterans and their family members. Writing Interns take their roles seriously, as the content of each article is representative of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the veteran(s) highlighted in the piece. Writers serve on a variety of teams to apply their expertise to bring veterans’ stories to life. The major ongoing project is Veteran of the Day, where a veteran is highlighted on the VA’s social media outlets to honor each veteran. Writers also contribute to special projects, such as writing highlights for Operation Song, which is a partnership with the eponymous organization that tells a veteran’s story through song. Writers also write for A Veteran’s Story, which is written in the form of a narrative story of the veteran’s service. Writers also write special pieces on an ad hoc basis that cover different veterans or veteran-related events or provide important information about compensation, health care, education and other benefits. Writing Interns will often work with the VA’s social media platforms and accordingly use Salesforce Social Studio to schedule social content across these platforms.

Prospective interns should review articles on the VAntage Point blog (such as this sample Veteran of the Day article and this sample article written for A Veteran’s Story) to understand the writing style and minimum level of quality required. A prospective intern should have their own computer, word-processing software, a desire to share information about topics important to Veterans, and proficiency in writing quality articles on a wide range of topics. Prior social media management experience is helpful but not required.

How to Apply

Please visit the How to Apply page for application details if you are interested in interning in this department.

Prior Year Team History

DME Writing Interns complete blog and article write-ups in honor and service of Veterans for publication to the VAntage Point blog and VA social media channels. From August 2019 to May 2020, the DME Writing Interns collectively completed 613 writing projects. This included write-ups for Veteran of the Day, Special Projects, the Vet Resources Newsletter, Reddit (i.e. Veterans in the News), Instagram and various other assignments. On average, the Writing Department completed 61 write-ups and contributed 297 intern hours each month, totaling 2966 hours over a period of nine months. At its most, the Writing Department hosted 35 interns, and later onboarded 10 additional interns for the Summer 2020 term.