Tagged: Department of Veteran Affairs Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Erica Hilton 6:07 pm on July 30, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Department of Veteran Affairs, pentagon   

    The Pentagon 

    A few weeks ago, the other interns in my program and I went to the Pentagon for a meeting. While there we met with one of the Deputy Assistant Secretaries of Defense about the work his office is doing. He also walked us through the different steps and journeys that he took to achieve the career he has today.

    There was something that he said that really stood out to me. The work he does isn’t his job; it’s his passion. I’ve heard people say that before, but you could really tell by how he spoke about his work that he really and truly enjoys it. It was a nice reminder to do what makes you happy. Everything else will fall into place.

  • Erica Hilton 2:58 pm on June 9, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Department of Veteran Affairs, innovation, , veterans   

    When They Toss You in You Better Learn How to Swim 

    I have had the craziest, most exciting and fast paced week of my life… No really.

    Before I tell you about it I should probably introduce myself to you since this is my first time on the AU blog. I’m Erica, a graduate student in the Public Communication program at American University. I finish the program this summer so I’m ready to hit the real world at full speed. Thankfully, my summer internship is allowing me to do that.

    This past Monday I started the Innovation Internship Program (IIP) at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The program works to transform VA into a 21st-century department. Not only are interns given a budget to implement our own innovative project for VA, but we also work in our desired field of interest simultaneously. While I am working on my own innovative project, I work on communications for a particular office at VA as well.

    Now back to my crazy week. On the third day of my internship a mini/medium crisis occurred in the afternoon. Something needed to be done for an engagement that was happening the next morning. Usually things like this take at least three weeks to prepare for. In this case I had about 3 hours to take care of it and by myself might I add.  In a nutshell, they tossed me in the water and wanted to know whether I would sink or swim.

    It literally took all I had not to panic. Ironically, that is even the day that I have to leave early for class. That meant I had a decision to make, but I felt like this was my moment to prove myself. I wanted to show them that in the mist of crisis I can be a Gladiator (Sorry, ‘Scandal’ talk). So what did I do? I stayed late. I skipped class. I finished the project. When they tossed me in I swam. Trust me, it was worth it! I worked hard, and they noticed. It felt so rewarding! Someone even inquired about my plans for when after the program is over!

    Needless to say my first week was absolutely amazing! I’m doing what I love to the ultimate measure. Also, my father is a retired Colonel in the army. For that reason of him being a veteran, VA has been a major part of my support system when it comes to my education. I love giving back to it.

    Before I go, I do want to leave you with this disclaimer: The views that I express on this blog (or anywhere for that matter) do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. They are my own and reflect only myself (Erica). I’m thrilled to share this experience with you. We are going to take this journey together. Hold on tightly; here we go!

compose new post
next post/next comment
previous post/previous comment
show/hide comments
go to top
go to login
show/hide help