Friday, September 30, 2011

STUDENT NEWS: An Extraordinary Summer Internship Experience

Senior Political Science major, Sociology minor, and Club Secretary of Student Veterans at Chapman, Philip Quigley, was one of 40 students chosen from universities around the nation to participate for ten weeks with the Competitive Government Program hosted by The Washington Center.

Quigley interned for the Department of Defense (DoD) at the Pentagon and worked in "Special Projects" for Military Community and Family Policy (MC & FP) within Personnel and Readiness (P & R), under the Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD). He worked directly in support of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, the Honorable Robert L. Gordon III, and the Principal Director, Mr. Charles Milam.

In his own words, hear what exciting experiences he encountered in an internship he will never forget!

Within MC&FP, I conducted feasibility studies, assisted with policy analyses, prepared correspondence for Congressional representatives, participated in strategic planning meetings, and aided leaders within OSD in determining courses of action based on the needs of the military community and the Department of Defense.

Senior Philip Quigley (second from left) at his summer internship.

I didn’t have your ordinary internship experience. When most students think of internships, they think of long hours in a cubicle behind a computer, sorting through boxes in a file room, grabbing coffee for the boss, or other seemingly fruitless work. My internship was far from fruitless. Right from the start, I was put to work on high-visibility projects, engaging DoD personnel from entry level GS-7’s to Senior Executive Service personnel. I worked an average of 50 hours a week at the Pentagon.

I authored an internally-distributed informational booklet regarding a Department of Defense education system project for MC&FP leaders to utilize and reference during strategic planning meetings, Congressional hearings, and public presentations. I prepared Congressional reports and correspondence for a joint DoD/White House program called the "Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP)" which connects corporations with a pool of military spouses to offer long-term career opportunities and professional networking capabilities to military spouses. I conducted all source analysis to provide decision memoranda and supporting information packages for an executive decision brief regarding the future operations of a multi-million dollar commissary facility, for an initiative to repair or rebuild public schools on military installations, and, for a multi-agency panel discussion to coordinate Federal efforts to respond to the needs of military Veterans and their families with respect to preventing and ending homelessness. I managed research for a Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy (WWCTP) initiative called the "Education & Employment Initiative (E2I)" that will provide Wounded Warriors assistance in applying for and completing academic education as well as career training by facilitating and fostering community relationships to provide employment and volunteer opportunities.

I can honestly say that the programs, projects, and initiatives that I worked on this summer weren’t the usual types of work that most interns get the opportunity to work on. This is the type of opportunity you can only get working in Washington, DC. The programs that I worked on at DoD will all have a long term positive effect on the well-being of our Service Members, their families, and our Veterans. My summer internship at the Pentagon gave me the opportunity to work on important projects dealing with issues which are important to me personally, and which touched on my experiences in the military, my professional work experience, and the education that I am receiving at Chapman. I had the opportunity to make use of my analytical and critical thinking skills, my professional writing techniques, my public speaking talents, my computer research abilities, my leadership qualities, and my drive to better myself and help others. Working for DoD this summer made me realize the type of career that I wanted to have and how I could use my experiences, my education, and my desire to serve to help me and my country. This internship experience helped me grow as student and as a professional.

Senior Philip Quigley at a town-hall meting with
the Under Secretary of Defense

I am proud of the work that I accomplished for Military Community and Family Policy and I am extremely grateful to The Washington Center, to Chapman University and the Wilkinson College and the Career Development Center, and to my co-workers at MC&FP for the great opportunity to work for DoD this summer and take part in such important work. This summer’s internship was the highlight of my career at Chapman University and I thoroughly recommend all students to take advantage of summer internships like this as offered through the Career Development Center and the different colleges here at Chapman. The experience is extraordinary and invaluable in today’s changing economy.

Dr. Clifford Stanley refers to Quigley in a DoD blog. Click on Wounded Worries to read more!

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