WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — More than 130 new interns were introduced to careers in civil service by the Air Force Materiel Command commander at the start of the Premier College Intern Program Symposium June 4 at the Hope Hotel.
“Over the past 40 years, the Air Force has given me the opportunity to make things happen,” said AFMC Commander Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski. “This is your opportunity to be part of something great.”
A Secretary of the Air Force initiative, the PCIP is focused on recruiting and training approximately 500 high-caliber candidates to fill professional as well as wage-grade positions across the Air Force. Designed as a summer internship experience, the program selectees are undergraduates about to enter their senior year of college, or they are students in vocational or technical schools.
“Think of today as the start of a 12-week job interview,” said Kristina Whitfield, the Air Force PCIP Manager. “This is not only a chance for us to see how you perform, but it’s also a chance for you to see what the Air Force can offer. It’s an opportunity for you to ask yourself, ‘Is this a good fit for me?’”
More than 300 interns have been placed in AFMC wings and centers, augmenting positions in career fields that include financial management, civil engineering, communications and information, contracting, force support, science and engineering, intelligence, and logistics. Interns gain the opportunity to work on cutting-edge technology and projects under the mentorship of senior managers, with the possibility of obtaining future work as an Air Force civilian upon successful completion of the internship program requirements.
“Internship programs are important to the Air Force and to the Air Force Materiel Command to ensure we build a pipeline of employees entering government service,” said Joyce Labenski, a Human Resources Specialist in the AFMC directorate of Manpower, Personnel and Services. “This is a great opportunity for new, young talent to learn what it means to be an Air Force employee, with the potential of future employment following graduation.”
During the course of the symposium here, which is one of four regional symposiums this summer, interns will be introduced to Air Force culture, missions, values, expectations and opportunities. In addition to receiving briefings from senior AFMC leadership on Air Force civilian career paths, leadership and mentorship, the interns have the unique opportunity to see cutting-edge science and technology at the Air Force Research Laboratory, tour a C-17 and learn about Air Force history during a visit to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
For many of the interns, this is the first time they will be exposed to government civilian work and the benefits and rewards of civil service.
“This is a great chance to see if this is what I want to do with the rest of my life,” said Chanel Wilson, a Central State University business administration major who will intern in logistics this summer. “I’m looking forward to the experience.”
Announcements for future Premier College Intern Program vacancies can be found on the USAJOBs website at https://www.usajobs.gov. Interested individuals may also visit the Air Force civilian career website to learn more about internships and other job opportunities at https://afciviliancareers.com.