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Federal Government's 2011 Internship Directory

You can now access it by clicking on 2011 Internship Directory. It is more comprehensive than ever!

 

RELEASE OF THE 2011 INTERNSHIP DIRECTORY BY THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, OFFICE OF CIVIL RIGHTS

 

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Civil Rights is proud to announce the release of the 2011 Internship Directory “Interns, Washington, D.C. and the Federal Government: An Introduction to the Beltway” – a publication with a wealth of information for interns in the Washington, DC area.

 

I assigned this project to Brinkley Faulcon, a talented intern from the Oak Ridge Associated Universities Internship Program for Post-Secondary Students. Cristina Bartolomei, a former Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) intern who is now working for the Department, enhanced the directory by adding graphics.

 

Mr. Faulcon was tasked with preparing a directory that would speak to those who, like him, came to work for the Federal Government and had no knowledge of how the bureaucracy worked – or even how to get around Washington, D.C. Coming from Virginia Beach, and completing his studies at the University of Virginia, the assignment was one that resonated deeply with Mr. Faulcon.

 

The directory is divided into seven sections. The first section discusses internships in 15 cabinet-level agencies; the second section provides a list of independent agencies and government corporations that have numerous job openings and internship programs for students; the third section lists independent providers that have contractual agreements with the Federal Government to provide them with interns; the fourth section addresses housing and travel information; the fifth and sixth sections have information on the various attractions in the D.C. area; and, finally, the seventh section has a myriad of information on how to navigate the hiring process in the Federal Government.

 

I get so discouraged when I see many federal managers recruit interns just to check a box when they are under pressure to increase the diversity of their workforce by a congressional letter or their Office of Civil Rights. Without any deep commitment, they have their interns perform menial tasks – like answering the phones and making copies. Not that we don’t perform these tasks ourselves. We do. After all, we live in an environment of fiscal austerity where we are being asked constantly to do more with less. But when you have interns doing these tasks the entire time that they are with you, their talents are underutilized and their motivation is shot. If the goal of all internship programs is to get the interns to select your federal agency or the Federal Government as their employer of choice upon graduation, these supervisors are undermining the objectives of these initiatives. It is not until these highly-educated interns get tasked with highly challenging assignments – like the preparation of this directory -- that they will consider joining the Federal Government. Until then, hiring interns will remain a futile exercise of revolving doors – at a high cost to taxpayers and with little return on their investment.

 

As this information in the Internship Directory is constantly changing, the Office of Civil Rights will make every effort to keep it updated.

 

We had a former Secretary of Commerce who gave a speech and reminded attendees that the highest calling that anyone could have was to “stand for something bigger than oneself.”  In my professional career, I have met many individuals who are so ego-driven that they won’t look at anything or anyone beyond themselves.  I have come across many whose main purpose in life is to get that next promotion -- only to find out if they get it, they still have not reached that self-actualization level in Maslow hierarchy of needs. There is nothing nobler in a federal employee than to lend a helping hand to the younger generation to succeed in the Federal Government. 

 

The Office of Civil Rights’ hope is that the directory will make a difference with the current cadre of fall interns, and future ones. We are certain that the directory supports the intent of Executive Order 13583 “A Coordinated Government-Wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce”, aimed to increase the diversity and inclusion of the federal workforce. The directory is an electronic tool, not meant to be printed. Please disseminate it to all your circles of friends.

 

Mr. Faulcon and Miss Bartolomei have made a difference, now it’s your turn to stand up and deliver.

 

PS: For those who are computer-literate challenged, click on the hyperlink on the second paragraph of item no. 2 to view the directory.

 

 

Jorge E. Ponce

Director

Policy and Evaluation Division

Office of Civil Rights

U.S. Department of Commerce