Dominique Ramirez is responsible for beginning the DME Intern Podcast, and he works in the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs and is the Intern Program Manager on the Digital Media Engagement team, working mostly as a Public Affairs Specialist and in technology on the VA website. Dom had also spent ten years in the Navy and had started the Virtual Student Federal Service program with the VA a long time ago and is surprised at the growth and success with which the program has achieved. In addition to his many responsibilities in Public Affairs, Dominique works alongside other people within the VA, making sure that certain documents are accessible for veterans with disabilities, managing 300 interns and answering questions from different teams.
Returning after leaving the Digital Media Engagement team meant that Dom had to reboot the VSFW program, a program that is run by the Department of State that provides a platform for federal employees to acquire the assistance of interns to work on projects with them. In 2016, the program only had 16 interns in total and from there Dom expanded the program by bringing back the DME interns that he had originally worked with before. Knowing that the task of overseeing 300 interns would be too much for one individual, Dom made the decision to make leadership positions within the different departments. Dom’s military experience on a destroyer led him to base the command structure of the DME Internship around command positions on a ship like Division Officers, Department Heads, Executive Officers and Commanding Officers.
You can find Dom participating with other interns on Slack, for instance, on the #RoseThornBudThursday posts that allows interns to share a good experience (a Rose), a challenge they faced (a Thorn) or something they are looking forward to in the future (a Bud). Dom is a huge fan of the DME Intern Podcast and says that, “As many as possible of the interns on the team should take you up on your offer and sit down for an interview on the podcast because it really gives me the chance to get to know you guys better.”