A day interning with Digital Media Engagement (DME) starts just like any other day. Fully remote, this internship hosts students nationwide. Here, we have an exclusive, inside look with one of 14 members of the web development team, John Wright II.

A jack of all trades, he has worked as a software engineer at Northwestern Mutual and enjoys the back-end of web development. Back-end primarily deals with data management for retrieval of customer data. He has learned HyperText Markup Language (HTML)/Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) which then helped him learn Python and PHP. He is applying his WordPress skills in the VA DME internship.

Wright first learned about the internship through USAJOBS.gov while a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He hopes that this Virtual Student Federal Service (VSFS) internship will lead to working in the federal sector for cybersecurity. One of the issues the web development team has resolved is switching domains (.org) and doing a domain transfer of all data. Wright’s team also provided current users with multi-factor authentication when logging in. In 2021, the nation as a whole has seen a variety of ransomware attacks across private and public sectors. Wright is learning how to prevent such issues and hopes to one day be a full-time cybersecurity professional in the government.

One method of learning how to implement theoretical knowledge with real experience is by having a “mock up” site, or staging area. The team tests updates and creates a mirror image of the working site, giving the web development team an opportunity to see how modifications look before putting them into production.

Does this sound interesting? Although the window of opportunity for internships has closed for this fiscal year, DME wants your help! Please volunteer at: https://www.dmeinterns.org/volunteers/

Writer: Alexis White

Editors: Julia Pack, Annabelle Colton

Graphic Designer: Kiki Kelley