My name is Janei Smiley, and I am a United States Army Veteran as well as a Communication and Media Studies major at Clayton State University in Morrow, GA. I found the MEISPP Internship program through my online research and the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity stood out to me at once. I did not know that an office like this existed within the Department of Energy, but I was quickly educated on the intentionality and lasting affect that goes into diversifying the STEM workforce for generations to come. I am personally excited to share my experiences during this internship with my peers and continue to shed light on the opportunities that are becoming available thanks to the individuals in this office.
Thus far, I have been a part of creating and editing web content and designs, constructing maps that display national aid distribution, been provided with resources that give me a better understanding of the goals and mission of the DOE, and been entrusted with tasks that showcase my strengths while being guided by mentors who encourage career development. My favorite assignment has been creating survey questions with current and future interns in mind because MEISPP is a program that wants to improve their efforts and continue to support minority communities. Although this has been a unique experience due to the global pandemic; the virtual internship experience has afforded many students an equally engaging opportunity and encouraged confidence in digital communication and etiquette. Retaining a virtual component for future interns would further prove the DOE’s ability to turn a negative into a positive.
I am grateful and honored to have been a member of MEISPP during such a pivotal time in the world. It has reminded me of the adaptability and drive that is needed to be successful in any field.