VA DME Intern Testimonials

What Previous Interns Say:

Former interns across various departments have reported enriching experiences while in the program. Read below for testimonials from several past interns. If any of these testimonials have inspired you to learn more about the program, please view the Internship Departments page and it subsections for details on the specific department and/or the Application Information page for details on the application process.

Intern Testimonials from 2019-2020

“Being a part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Digital Media Engagement Team gave me invaluable work experience while interacting with students from across the country. As a full-time student, I was able to create a flexible work schedule around my classes while contributing to VA projects remotely. Working in different positions allowed me to hone my leadership and communication skills and learn while collaborating with multiple DME departments to support and honor our nation’s Veterans.”

Michaela Yesis

Editing Intern and A Veteran's Story Department Head (2019-2020)

“The VA Internship taught me a new way to work with people remotely, such as learning how to communicate and collaborate in an online setting. I believe this is a useful skill for my future career, such as if I were to telework from home. Additionally, this internship also allowed me to work with a hardworking team of students, where we cooperated on long-term projects such as social media engagement, allowing me to improve my leadership, creativity, and communication skills. I’m grateful to have met an amazing network of people and to have also helped honor our Veterans in the process.”

Kimberlyn Quon

Division Officer of Instagram and Human Resources (2019-2020)

“The Veterans Affairs internship and working on A Veteran’s Story, has given me the opportunity to learn so much more about veterans then I could in a classroom. It was a worthwhile experience and what I valued the most was the nice, supportive working environment and the commitment of other interns to deliver an excellent service. It is a great opportunity for interns to gain practical skills and learn about working on team projects. To conclude the internship was an enriching experience and the insight I gained will influence my future professional career.”

Essence McPherson

Editing Intern- A Veteran's Story (2019-2020)

“My time at the VA’s Digital Media Engagement internship so far has been nothing short of amazing! Through the various positions I’ve held I have gotten to view the internship through many different lenses and each step of the way has provided me with immeasurable and invaluable experience. Plus, the remote aspect allowed me to have great flexibility in when and how my work got done. Most importantly, the work never really felt like work to me because the fulfillment I got from helping Veterans was so great. This internship has been so enjoyable and has really prepared me for the next step in my career. It’s an amazing opportunity and I’m grateful to have been a part of it!”

Steven Sullivan

Department Head Social Media and Human Resources (2019-2020)

“Being a graphic design intern for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Digital Media Engagement (DME) Team is an opportunity for which I am particularly thankful. Not only was I able to read about some remarkable Veterans, but I also was able to thank them in a small way through arranging photographs for a variety of graphics, including Veteran of the Day posts. Learning more about what Veterans are doing in the community has made me more aware of their needs, giving me a greater appreciation for those that served our country. This internship provided an opportunity to learn a virtual platform adding to my skills while broadening my connections.”

Michelle Zischke

Graphic Design Intern for Operation Song (2019-2020)

Intern Testimonials from 2018-2019

“Having been afforded the opportunity to lead this year’s internship has proven to be an invaluable experience. This position has armed me with various skills that I will carry into the workforce. I’ve been able to hone my leadership, program management, and communication skills, all while honoring and assisting Veterans. I’m truly grateful for the many skills I’ve acquired, the great people I’ve worked with, and am thankful to be a part of such a great cause!”

– Jennifer Moreno

Executive Officer (2018 – 2019)

“The DME VSFS internship has taught me so much. I have learned so much about the Department of Veterans Affairs and the VAntage Point blog, and have been able to interact virtually and work alongside an extremely hard working and motivated team of interns and leaders. I recommend the VSFS DME internship to anyone who is interested in taking part in an impactful project, and in making long lasting connections.”

– Carlota Martinez-Don

Assistant Executive Officer (2018 – 2019)

“This internship has taught me a lot about the process for making documents compliant with 508 standards, a valuable skill I know I will be able to use in future careers. I have also learned valuable leadership skills and strengthened my project management abilities through this internship.”

– Danielle Bates

Accessibility Department Head (2018 – 2019)

“The VSFS Program has been a great experience in collaborating via internet with people from all over the country! I’ve learned how to lead, manage, and collaborate with a large team of other young professionals. The VSFS has provided me with an opportunity to work within the federal government while still continuing to work at school!”

– Kelsey Evans

Editing Department Head (2018 – 2019)



“I was a bit doubtful of what kind of experience I would be able to get from a virtual internship. However, this position has so greatly exceeded my expectations. This internship has helped me practice my communication skills, especially AP Style. Writing and editing for such a significant audience and creating that writing to be cross-posted over many different channels is incredibly valuable experience. I have also been able to practice leadership and management skills by helping to pilot and manage a new project during my time here. One of the most valuable features of this internship is that the interns play a huge role in managing and helping grow the program. We are each able to help make decisions that will influence the future direction of the internship. The internship supervisors also put a lot of effort into the professional development of interns including career advice, #ResumeFriday and #MakingConnectionsMonday. The fact that virtual supervisors are willing to put so much effort into helping the interns they’ve never met is wonderful. Finally, my favorite part of this internship is being able to recognize unsung, everyday heroes. I have learned so much about the amazing deeds Veterans do and the sacrifices they make. Each Veteran has sacrificed something for our country, and they all deserve to have their stories told and honored.”

– Leah Comins

Intern Editor-in-Chief and A Veteran’s Story Department Head (2018 – 2019)

“This internship has given me leadership experience and helped me utilize my skills in communication. Being able to work with a team of interns from around the nation has introduced me to a great network of peers. Throughout the year, I have witnessed myself and my team grow in their skills, overcome challenges, and gain significant experience.”

– Katherine Wiedeman

Graphic Design Department Head (2018 – 2019)

“I knew very little about Veterans Affairs or virtual internships before starting but have learned so many technical and professional skills along the way. I can’t wait to continue this next year!”

– Ifeoma Ikedionwu

Operation Song Division Officer and Turnover Department Head (2018 – 2019)

“This internship has taught me strong communication skills considering it has been entirely virtual. At first I thought that this format could have taken away from my experience, but I quickly realized that this would not be the case. I have felt hands-on experience and as if I was connected with my colleagues since my first day as an intern. This internship is often what I am asked about first in interviews and interactions with potential employers. The name recognition of the Department of Veterans Affairs followed by the content of this position has really caught the eyes and hearts of people reviewing my resume. This internship introduced me to the online applications Slack and Trello. As I have learned, these applications are very popular in the professional world, so this experience will definitely help me with future positions.”

– Elizabeth Pianucci

Operation Song Co-Department Head and Writing Co-Department Head (2018 – 2019)

“I’ve always supported two things: giving back to the community and supporting our veterans. This internship combines both in a way that allows interns to connect with people from around the world and also see tangible results of their hard work. While there are many roles to fill within this internship, I think writers have the best opportunity to tell the stories of the veterans who made untold sacrifices to support their country. Interns here not only learn how to connect with veterans and tell their stories, but also work with other interns from different backgrounds and areas of expertise to create cohesive stories that are viewed the world over. I’m glad to be a part of this team and feel that I have learned not only valuable practical skills, but also how to honor our nation’s heroes.”

– Jessica Jeffery

Operation Song Co-Department Head and Writing Co-Department Head (2018 – 2019)

“Through this internship, I was able to be exposed to an aspect of digital communications that I would not have had otherwise. I was never an avid listener of podcasts, but through this experience, I have come to understand more about the work behind the scenes in producing podcasts. Furthermore, through my work, I’ve learned a lot of the services offered through the Veterans in VA and heard many of their interesting stories. If digital media and communication is of interest to you, the VA podcast is a great way to gain some experience and contacts!”

– Emily Yedinak

Podcast Department Head (2018 – 2019)

“The DME VSFS internship has been one of the best experiences of my college career. This internship provided me with so many opportunities to not only grow my professional experiences but also my network. As a Fact Checker I was able to grow my researching skills and expand my knowledge about our nations veterans. Being a part of such a large team has allowed me to expand my network across the country. I am so grateful for this opportunity to honor our nations veterans and grow my own skills at the same time!”

– Kat Blanchard

Fact Checking Intern (2018 – 2019)

“This internship has been such a worthwhile experience. The flexibility that comes with the online format is unmatched and is perfect for students with a busy schedule. As somebody who curated content for both Twitter and Instagram, I gained valuable insight on the similarities and difference between the platforms and how to form a cohesive bond between the two, while also publishing unique content to both platforms. Social media is a vital tool for many different types of companies and is only growing in importance. The VA DME VSFS internship allowed me to hone my social media and critical reading skills and build a skill set that is widely usable and attractive for future work and school experiences. Additionally the staff provided advice and assistance with federal employment, resumes, and more. The environment was relaxed, welcoming, and fun. Overall, I cannot recommend this internship more. I am returning next year because it has been such a rewarding experience for me, while also being the perfect internship to fit into my busy school schedule. “

– Ava Vecellio

Division Officer of Social Content Channel (2018 – 2019)

“The internship with the Veterans Affairs has helped me further academically and professionally. Many advisors and professional job interviewers ask about the experience regardless of whether or not it pertains to the job description at hand. Academic advisors are often in awe of the experience and they see what good that the program has brought for me. As a project manager, the internship has also honed my leadership abilities and communication skills- which helps tremendously in any circumstances, especially presentations for classes and school. I’m very grateful for the experience, and it’s definitely one that I won’t forget.”

– Emily Ma

Head of Instagram and Social Media Departments (2018 – 2019)

“Being a part of VSFS DME has really been a great experience. Being able to put in your hours from wherever you’re comfortable is a rare find, especially to college students with uneven schedules. Connecting and working with people from across the country & the world is unique to VSFS as well. The environment from the team is laid back and fun; you can’t say that about most internships. I’m happy to have been a part of it for the past 8 months and plan to reapply!”

– Atifa Hoque

Social Media Intern (2018 – 2019)

“This was a highly enriching internship. I applied expecting only to acquire professional project management experience and learn about the VA, but these initial expectations were far surpassed. Even though I had no web development experience prior to this internship, the Intership Supervisor and fellow interns were highly supportive, enabling me to learn extensively about front-end web development, UX, and the VA’s web resources through leading the process of designing the program’s first-ever website and developing a prototype blog to aid in upgrading the VA’s official VAntage Point blog. This was my first experience with Slack, allowing me to enhance my professional communication skills. This internship gave me hands-on practice in project planning with Microsoft Excel, developing skills that have helped me excel in my current master’s program. Discussions with other Department Heads have inspired me and broadened my understanding of leadership and management. Overall, this internship was an invaluable experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone with any interest in the VA or in any internship that the program offers.”

– Narayan Kulkarni

Web Development Department Head (2018 – 2019)

“During my internship I learned a lot of valuable skills that was able to propel me to the next level. VSFS offering virtual internships is a big plus for students gaining experience while still in school. I am happy to have interned with them.”

– Pierrot Ejiba

Web Development Intern (2018 – 2019)

“The VSFS opportunity to write for the Department of Veteran Affairs was such a valuable opportunity for me to gain experience for my career. The DME staff allows us to be creative and learn on the job while producing work that is professional and makes an impact on Veteran’s lives. It was an amazing experience to be able to contribute to an important aspect of the VA’s work. I would recommend anyone interested in media production consider working with the VA’s online staff!”

– Ben Szalinski

Writing Intern (2018 – 2019)

“This internship has been an amazing opportunity to enhance my writing, interviewing, and interpersonal skills as I worked with a team of many different people, each fulfilling different roles. It has helped me learn much in the way of managing myself and communicating with others in order to get posts done correctly and on time.”

– Mitchell Hale

Writing Intern (2018 – 2019)