CCPO took summer interns for the first time in 2021. The intern program was an exceptional opportunity to provide high school and college students with hands-on government experience, and some of our full-time employees with management experience. Staying true to CCPO, we quickly integrated our interns into the product teams to start working on projects! The interns directly contributed to our ongoing projects with the Strategic Communications (StratComm) and Engineering teams, leaving their valuable, unique marks on the program office. We greatly appreciate their hard work and dedication to CCPO’s vision of transforming cloud to enable the Warfighter. Keep reading to learn more about our intern program from our very own StratComm intern, Kaitlyn Kim.
Kaitlyn Kim, Strategic Communications Intern, Cloud Computing Program Office
The life of an Intern at CCPO
Hello world! My name is Kaitlyn Kim. I was the Cloud Computing Program Office’s (CCPO) 2021 Strategic Communications (StratComm) summer intern. As part of my college journey, I wanted to get hands-on, applicable work experience. I searched for internships on USAjobs.gov and stumbled upon a position titled “Administrative Support Assistant” for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). The job description listed clerical duties, so I imagined myself in a cubicle from 9 to 5 doing miscellaneous tasks. Nonetheless, I thought it would be a great experience to see how a government agency operated. I submitted my application and hoped for the best. Little did I know that I was going to be assigned to DISA’s CCPO.
Kaitlyn and the engineering interns participated both virtually and in office with the CCPO this summer
My internship at CCPO was a wonderful learning experience. There were no coffee runs or printing copies here. The team fully engages interns in the work. My role was to support the StratComm team by helping balance their duties. Some of my responsibilities included drafting blog and social media posts, helping process and submit speaking engagement requests, tracking media articles, creating templates for the office, and designing visuals. My favorite assignments were to create flyers for events within the office. A bit random, but I would never deny a flyer-making opportunity! My other duties consisted of supporting the leadership team, working on a capstone project, and lending a hand to the CCPO team wherever assistance was needed.
What I loved most about the CCPO team was the culture. It really is a unique office within the DoD. You could show up to work in a Star Wars T-shirt, as long as you get your work done! Where else am I going to find that?! As for the Strategic Communications team specifically, I admired their dynamic and skill. It is a talent to transform intricate projects and technical language into condensed yet detailed verbiage. They make the content digestible for a wider audience, and I loved seeing the process transpire in real time.
If I were to offer a couple tips for prospective interns, my first suggestion is to soak in all the knowledge. You are in an inspiring environment and should take advantage of every minute. I got to work with two stellar women who made up the StratComm team. Additionally, I got to work with CCPO’s Executive Director and Chief of Staff who are also women. In a male-dominated field like cloud and enterprise technology, it is nice to see powerful women taking charge. My second tip is to stay open-minded. You do not have to know every fact about cloud computing to be immersed in the work. As long as you are willing to learn and grow, the intern experience at CCPO gives you a foundation and you will develop from there. I had minimal knowledge about enterprise information technology coming in, but now I find tactical edge devices fascinating.
I can confidently say that CCPO helped me grow my technical skill set and interpersonal skills. I was working closely with the StratComm team and got to interact with the other product teams in a short span of time. After my summer with CCPO, I hope to intern at CCPO again during my school breaks. StratComm is a career path I now consider as I continue to gain more work experience. This fall, I will be a sophomore at the University of Maryland (UMD): College Park. At UMD, I am an Economics major, an active member of the CIVICUS living-and-learning program, and a counselor at the university’s Camp Kesem chapter. I hope an economic background will help make me versatile for future employers. Moreover, my passion for volunteering empowers me to choose a meaningful line of work. CCPO is the first step to launching myself into a purposeful career.
I will always remember this position as my first, fast, fun, and furious internship.