Interning with NJVC has been one of the best learning experiences I have had to date.
Working for a mid-sized government contractor such as NJVC allowed me to gain real knowledge of the industry and make real connections with coworkers, not just passing waves. Through NJVC’s intern program, I have been able to work in a variety of fields such as marketing, business architecture and cyber security. This diverse field experience will help me when I return to my university by allowing me to apply what I have learned to my classes.
When I first came to the company I was working in cyber security. As I major in Intelligence Analysis at James Madison University, what I learned here is immediately applicable to my cyber classes. I now understand how a network functions and, through such tasks as vulnerability scans, creating network diagrams and patching, I have an applied technology.
Since then I have worked in marketing, enterprise architecture and proposal writing, just to name a few. In the marketing realm, I was able to help our marketing team realign our external website by determining what information needed to be added and what needed to be removed. IT is a continuously evolving market and information that is current one week may not be the next.
As our company is focusing on transitioning federal enterprises to the cloud, particularly in the Intelligence Community, most of my time is spent working with the senior solutions architect on tasks such as putting information into system design documents, creating images in Visio, and taking unstructured data and transforming it to structured data in Excel sheets.
One of the perks of the program is the extensive amount of free training resources available to all NJVC employees. NJVC’s intern program allows us to study for a certification by using free resources on their Intranet site. I am currently studying to obtain my CompTIA Security+ certification. This certification encompasses everything from network and operation security to cryptology.
Being given the opportunity to continue personal learning and earn a certification from an internship is one of the most rewarding benefits for me. Another intern and I also had the opportunity to write a white paper that will be posted on the NJVC website, as well as a pair of blog posts on a Federal Cloud Summit we attended. Having these opportunities as an intern and being able to do valuable work is a tremendously positive aspect about this internship.
A major component of company success is cohesion between colleagues. Even as an intern, I realize how much of a tight knit family NJVC employees are with each other. That makes life inside and outside of work better. As an intern, I have learned real world skills through each job I have done. When doing cyber, I have learned about the cyber world in general and in depth. I was also able help out at our company golf tournament, work on service messaging and digital marketing initiatives and experience firsthand what the marketing staff does. What I have done the most as an intern is work on the business aspects of the company. I have had the opportunity to help with contracts and learn what mysterious acronyms stand for, such as PWS (Performance of Work Statement, the overview of what a federal contract will require a company to do if selected as the winning bidder) and BOE (Basis of Estimate, the justification provided for the amount of labor and hours required to do the work in the proposal).
The idea that I entered into a new workplace and was treated like I had been working here for years is astonishing to me.
When you look for a company or agency to work for, you realize that you are just another number in their system. At NJVC, you feel like you are more than a number. When I help out coworkers with simple tasks and they come back and thank you tremendously, speak highly of you or treat you to lunch, it is an amazing and unexpected feeling. I have also been able to attend a cloud computing summit in DC one day for work, which shows that NJVC does more than just occupy our interns with busy work. The flexibility and opportunities that NJVC gives you as an intern are unheard of in today’s corporate world, where you might often end up sitting at a desk staring aimlessly at a monitor for eight-plus hours.
NJVC's core values are integrity, fairness, respect, initiative and social responsibility. As an intern, I can vouch for the fact that those aren’t just words that are stated in an article to look nice, they are how the company operates. From the skills acquired, connections made, experiences gained and values learned, my internship has been very rewarding and applicable to the real world and my future career.