The opportunity to work in a federal capacity with other aspiring students on Digital Media Engagement projects is very enticing. So, I was ecstatic when my application was accepted to join the DME internship as a graphic designer. Graduating in 2020 during the pandemic was a bitter-sweet moment. It was sweet because all of my hard work had finally culminated into a bachelor’s degree, but it was also bitter because there was no ceremony and I was no longer eligible to continue interning. Fortunately, I was presented with a unique opportunity to continue working on DME projects as a VA volunteer.
During my senior year at DeVry University, I received an email from Virtual Student Federal Services inviting me to apply for an intern position with the DME. As a soon-to-be graduate, this opportunity was right on time and presented the chance to professionally network and expand my design capabilities while honoring Veterans. As a wife, a mother of two and a small business owner, the flexibility of the internship was extremely appealing.
I began working on several design projects to create Veteran of the Day (VOD) graphics, A Veterans Story (AVS) graphics and a few external affairs graphics as well. These projects were immediately rewarding and allowed me to display my creative abilities across multiple platforms. But three months into my internship, I graduated, and the DME internship is only for students. Thankfully, a new program was started for digital volunteers that is currently allowing me to continue working on these rewarding projects.
Becoming a volunteer has been an amazing experience for me. I was recruited to collaborate in the creation of a new template for a series called “Fly Girls” that will honor the W.A.S.P (Women Airforce Service Pilots) of WWII. As someone with no military background, I am finding this project to be the most exciting for me thus far since it is a great learning experience. It is also very rewarding to design something that could potentially be used to honor our women Veterans for years to come.
As a volunteer, I am still gaining relevant work experience, establishing an extensive professional network and designing projects that I can add to my portfolio. Volunteers have the same opportunities as interns, so if you are a recent graduate like myself, I would highly recommend becoming a volunteer for the DME.
Writer: Mohogany Bridges
Editor: Michelle Cannon
Graphic Designer: Helena Strohmier