Internship Updates

General Discussion for SMART Scholarship Recipients

Internship Updates

Postby Hellotehe » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:45 pm

I hope everyone is having a great summer break and a internship! I’d like to hear any good stories on how your internship is going (ie. any cool projects, publications, networking), or if it’s not going good, tell me why!

My update: the internship started off great in that I was able to meet and connect with several brilliant researchers who are towards the top of their career and field. Being in the middle of my PhD and already haven’t a dissertation topic, we wanted to utilize my time here for my own professional development. With that, we are scheduled to publish two articles by summers end. Couldn’t be happier with where I’m at and hope the same of all of you.

Re: Internship Updates

Postby Guest37 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:09 pm

Mine is pretty different. I'm a BS student working more on the facilities engineering side. Both the security office at the base and SMART both thought the other one was handling the security clearance so it got started the day I got there. Without the clearance and CAC card I don't have computer access so I've been reading binders of information all summer. It's not the end of the world or even close to the worst way to earn money but it's a glimpse into the reality of government work. I'm still learning a lot and getting to know the people I'll work with but it's a little frustrating.

Re: Internship Updates

Postby anonish » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:48 am

Our SF is more on the acquisitions side of things. But the actual work really isn't the problem (I don't think) - I feel I'd have had a solidly okay job had all gone well with actually getting started. However we are at the end of week 7 and I just got computer access so I haven't actually done a single thing for anybody instead I've been following people around to meetings and reading a some things. It's been an okay networking experience as far as my division goes but they have no idea what I can do as far as working abilities go because I haven't been able to do any work.

Similarly to above our security clearances weren't submitted until a week after we arrived - which means you cannot have computer network access by the way. Second week we had escort only badges until we finally got our CACs and building access badges. If you can I would highly suggest nudging your people about things like security clearance before starting as that would have gotten you network access by week 3.5ish.

Re: Internship Updates

Postby kgish » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:05 pm

Hello, my internship experience has been both good and frustrating. Like many other people, my security clearance wasn't started until I arrived at the beginning of the summer. SMART was not coordinating well with my SF and we were not aware that we needed to start the process sooner. I was somehow able to get a CAC my first week here, but I didn't get computer access until my 8th week here. My boss allowed me to bring in my own computer to do work on during the day, but I lacked base files and internet. Still I have been able to do a lot of design work on AutoCAD and I have really enjoyed networking and learning from my coworkers! Everyone at my base has been super nice and I wish I could have gotten more things done for them, but the computer access stuff was very frustrating.

Re: Internship Updates

Postby texag » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:09 pm

I'm starting week nine and just got my computer access, which is actually useless right now because I haven't had any opportunity to complete the trainings required to fully use the network. When I showed up back in May, no one knew I was coming so I got passed around and finally got thrown in with a group of PCIPs (premiere college internship program or something like that). For the most part I've been touring around the different bases (because its a joint base) and 'shadowing' people. The few tasks I have been given have been tedious and grunt work, except one where I had the opportunity to work with the traffic engineer. Overall I've enjoyed myself but I don't think I've grown professionally.
Also, they would only give me a volunteer CAC so I'm still using a visitors pass to get on base? Very frustrating.

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