Sneak Peek: The VA’s Digital Media Engagement (DME) internship offers many benefits and opportunities for older students to expand upon their career goals.

The old saying “You are never too old to learn something new” plays a key role in the VA Digital Media Engagement (DME) internship. While a majority of interns are undergraduates, I believe that older students, graduate students and even senior undergraduates gain invaluable knowledge and experience after joining the internship. 

Intern Christine Myers explained, “As an older student, my educational goals are different than most other students’. Internships and other extra curriculars aren’t that important, but I still gained a lot from the internship, such as adding it to my resume and expanding my network. Those benefits are invaluable. As far as what I could offer the internship … as an older student, I felt like the fresh, young minds had an advantage, and that could be intimidating. For this, I noted that I have a couple more decades of life experiences than most of the other students, which gave me an advantage in collaboration, communication, etc. Those extra decades of work experience allowed me to develop a work ethic, responsibility and dependability.”

As a senior undergraduate student, I agree that the internship has helped me to expand my network and has bolstered my resume. Furthermore, the internship has allowed me to hone pre-existing skills, to develop new skill sets that I can apply to both school and work and to experience working with a team. Since the internship is fully virtual, it teaches interns how to engage in and make the most of their work in an online setting, which is a relevant and necessary skill to have when living in a pandemic society. 

Additionally, the internship provides interns with federal work-related experience. The federal and private sectors are two completely separate entities, as they both require different resumes, processes of preparing for interviews and even editorial styles for documents and reports. Older students who want to work in the federal sector of the work force should start with an internship, which can provide a smooth transition to their job experience. The VA DME internship offers just that. It also engages interns in the learning process and allows for mistakes to be made. Some of the greatest benefits an older student could gain from interning with the DME team are skills and knowledge they can carry over into federal government work. 

Older students should join this internship in order to pursue career opportunities, acquire skills that are useful in all areas of the job force, develop their ability to work virtually and expand their professional network. There is a way for each person to get involved in the internship, no matter their interests. I believe older students should join the VA DME internship to expand upon their career goals, work alongside other motivated and supportive interns and pursue or find their passions.

Writer: Alex Boucher

Editor: Alli P., Julia Pack

Graphic Designer: Erin Gallagher

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