https://dmeinterns.org/application-information

VA DME Internship Program

Writer Intern

September 2019 • Denton, TX

What I liked

The flexibility to work remotely. With being employed full-time, attending classes, school/social activities, clubs and homework it was great to have the opportunity to also have an internship experience. The team you work with comes from all over and there are several projects you may not be involved with directly but can still support, like following the podcast.

What I wish was different

I enjoyed my time in the program. I wish I had started as a sophomore or junior as it gets easier with time and you'll have more opportunity to advance to a co-department head with more experience.

Advice

Be open to new experiences and ask questions. I found new items to work on by asking. Tell people about what you're doing. I called one interviewee and they said they wanted to nominate others Veterans they knew just by explaining the program in general.
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HR Intern

August 2019 • Casselberry, FL

What I liked

The flexibility of remote work is amazing with class schedules and I learned a lot about Human Resources - I hadn't even taken a class before getting this position!

What I wish was different

I wish I had known more about remote work like dos and don'ts and how to be productive and proactive in a virtual environment. Once you get the hang of it though, it can be really fun.

Advice

Look up some tips about how to work in a virtual environment. Also, there will be time differences, so when you schedule a meeting, make sure to know what time zone the time is set for.
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Editor

September 2019 - May 2020 • Washington, DC

What I liked

Being a virtual intern with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs gave me valuable work experience, the opportunity to collaborate and interact with other students while supporting its mission. As a full-time student, I was able to create my own work schedule around my classes while contributing to VA projects remotely. Leadership was knowledgeable and was always available to offer support and answer questions. As an editing intern, I was able to learn and improve my skills while working with multiple DME departments.

What I wish was different

Advice

Take the opportunity to learn as much as you can, and do not be afraid to ask questions.
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Fact-checker

September 2019 - May 2020 • Topeka, KS

What I liked

I like that i am able to do this virtually and it works with my school schedule and family life.

What I wish was different

I wish there was more work like when I first started now it's hard to make the hours count.

Advice

Always ask for extra stuff to do to further your experience and make the hours if you're short on work.
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Department Head of Special Projects

September 2019 • Memphis, TN

What I liked

I really like the flexibility that the program offers by being a virtual internship. It allows me to complete my work and meet my required weekly hours at my convenience, which is a huge benefit as a busy college student. I also love the diversity of projects available. Before I was promoted to Department Head, I was a regular writing intern. In this role I had the chance to interview Veterans about their service, their life after their service, their mental health, their family, the music they make, and much more. I also was able to develop my research skills by using online archives and looking through old newspapers to find more information about a Veteran's life and service.

What I wish was different

Advice

Don't be afraid to talk to your Department Head about any concerns you have about the internship, they want to hear from you and genuinely care about your experience.
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ELT of HR

September 2019 • Goose Creek, SC

What I liked

In this role, I've learned about managing virtual teams and the trials that come along with that. I've learned new technology such as Trello and Slack. I've grown my LinkedIn network by nearly 100 people. I've, most importantly, had the opportunity to take the things I learned in my college courses and apply my book learning to the real world. What I've learned is that it's messy and a lot more difficult than you anticipate, but in that application are valuable lessons I'm learning that will make me more employable and less of a gamble for a formal position." Afton Matthews

What I wish was different

HR was a new department in the year I joined and so we had some growing pains but I am confident that we've created structure and programs that will benefit next year's interns.

Advice

The internship is what you make up it! Spend time engaging with others outside your department and getting to know these people. Even though it's digital, I've met some great people!
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Department Head, Manager of Social Media Interns

August 2019 • Washington, DC

What I liked

A virtual internship is a college student’s best friend! Setting your own schedule and being able to work from wherever was the best. The leadership in this internship gave me the guidance and tools I needed to succeed and learn new things.

What I wish was different

Advice

Make sure to set aside time each week to work. With it being virtual it can sometimes be hard to remember to do things.
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