Five reasons why you should Join the DME VA VSFS internship

Written by Nathan Wang

Short Summary: Researcher Richard Aguilera gives his five reasons why interns should work with the Digital Media Engagement team for the Virtual Student Federal Service VA internship. He also gives advice and input on what being a researcher is like.

  1. Being a research intern promotes the use of investigative analysis and deductive reasoning in finding or verifying facts. It’s also important when making assertions on historic occurrences and timelines.
  2. Working with the team allows interns to improve their reading comprehension skills. Researchers are reading through write-ups, interviews, archives and other relevant media, and are discerning what’s important and what needs improvement.
  3. Because the internship is digital, you learn to communicate clearly and effectively. This is important in professional life and is also good for academic usage.
  4. Researchers can explore creative ideas within the role by suggesting ideas for research-specific projects or ways to expand the role of research past the expected norm. Examples include pursuing research projects for other departments, finding ways for researcher’s roles to be expanded, etc.
  5. Research interns build collaborative skills as they work with writers and editors to ensure the content being produced meets specific and important criteria.

Most Valuable part of being a Research Intern (According to Richard):
“There is a lot more value to being a research intern than meets the eye. The role itself holds a lot of responsibility in ensuring the content which is posted on behalf of the VA is not only factual, but succinct and clear with the information provided and researched. However, one of the most important things to take away from this position is that it is our duty to ensure all facts are correct as they pertain to specific Veterans and their story. Usually as I take on the admittedly mundane tasks that comprise a researcher’s work, I like to remind myself that the Veteran I am researching and validating facts for is potentially someone’s family member or dearest friend and that they would be disappointed or upset if an important fact was misinterpreted, left-out or blatantly false. That said, I like to tell myself that someone may appreciate and take great joy in reading the finalized version of their Veteran’s story and “shout-out” by the VA and be delighted that someone behind-the-scenes is taking great care to ensure their Veteran’s story is as accurate as possible.”

Editor: Elissa Tatum

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