Dylan Miller ’16 – This summer I have had the pleasure to intern at the Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington, DC. Since first visiting DC in the summer of 2013, I made it my goal to spend a summer in our nation’s capital as one of the thousands of young summer interns. I was fortunate enough to land my internship through a Wabash alum, BJ Whetstine ’01, that I met while visiting DC over spring break. If you don’t know already, you’ll soon come to realize the value of being active in the Wabash community network.
Every morning I join the swarm of interns and professionals cramming into the metro trains on their way to work with a coffee in hand, a TED Talk on my iPod, and a tie around my neck. After beeping into the Peace Corps headquarters building with my nifty government-issued ID card, I join five fellow colleagues to work in the Staging and Staff Development Unit. Our office handles a plethora of issues essential to the Peace Corps’ noble mission of world peace and friendship. Before each new Peace Corps volunteer travels to their respective country of service, they undergo a “staging” in the United States that acts as an orientation to their country of service. Our office does all the background logistics such as booking plane tickets, booking hotels, coordinating staging event staff, and planning and running staging events.
Since working at the Peace Corps, I’ve gotten a great overview of how a federal agency operates. I was even able to attend a training conference in Norman, OK that all Volunteer, Recruitment, and Selection (VRS) employees within the Peace Corps agency attended. I was able to attend informative sessions about how to operate an official government agency social media account, diversity outreach, marketing and research, recruitment techniques, government agency purchasing power, customer service, and much, much more. I was even honored to hear the newly appointed Peace Corps director, Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet, who was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate.
It has only been a month into my internship, but I can already tell that my skill set has grown and the knowledge and experience I have gained will carry through to future internship, career, professional, and educational ventures. I would like to thank BJ Whetstine ’01 for bringing me on as an intern and the Coonses for endowing this public service internship grant which allowed me to partake in this wonderful educational and professional development experience that I know will act as a vital building block in my growth as a successful professional and citizen.