Those who know me well know that I am an overzealous networker. I began my USDA experience in summer 2010 as a legislative and public affairs intern in the Rural Development mission area of USDA. While there, I was able to write press releases and blogs that were featured on the USDA website, attend agency hearings on the Hill, and make connections with a lot of great people.
My internship opportunities have allowed me to gain valuable work experience, ultimately leading to my current role in USDA’s Office of Communications.
This summer, USDA expects to hire more than 7,100 student interns, Secretary Vilsack announced today at a White House Summer Jobs+ event. The goal of Summer Jobs+ is to connect all sectors—businesses, non-profits, and government— with low-income and disconnected youth in order to provide pathways to summer employment. Last year, USDA employed approximately 5,900 summer interns.
Despite the budget difficulties, Secretary Vilsack is committed to providing internship opportunities for young people because he knows that the experiences gained are incredibly important in shaping my generation’s future career success.
What a lot of my peers don’t realize is that more than 50% of USDA’s workforce is within 10 years of eligibility for retirement. Therefore, it is critical that we take advantage of these opportunities in order to get our foot in the door and put what we have learned in the classroom to work.
If there is one thing that I can take away from my time as a USDA intern, it is that you must be proactive in the internship process. Luckily, USDA has created a ‘one stop shop’ intern application web site that will make it easier for students to search for available internships.
The Obama administration also intends to launch a Summer Jobs+ Bank, a search tool for youth to access postings for any participating employers seeking to reach them where they are online. Check out the Department of Labor’s Summer Jobs+ website for updates.
Make sure to visit the USDA internship site and apply today.