Student Gains Experience in the Nation’s Capital

September 26, 2011

Marcus WilliamsSummertime is one of the most competitive times of the year for the average college student. Some students are looking for leisurely jobs to earn extra money to aid their last semester’s strained bank accounts while other ambitious college students are on the scout for their first break into the real world. Marcus Williams, a senior finance major at the University of Mount Union, chose the latter of the two as he landed an internship in the nation’s capital.
This summer, Williams completed a 10-week internship at the Pentagon serving as a financial and program analyst for the Department of Defense, an opportunity he learned about through The Washington Center. He made daily trips to the Pentagon to attend meetings with the Building Management Office, and his main responsibilities were to create spreadsheets for department efficiency, analyze data and work with other departments such as the Leased Facilities Division and the ACP Consulting Firm. Besides gaining inside knowledge about government activities, Williams explained that he was able to learn different aspects of the government and acquired skills in financial marketing and budgeting.
Williams also took a ten-week course in entrepreneurship while he was in Washington, which focused on why people should start their own business and how to make that business successful. Aside from interning and taking classes, Williams also was required to spend 36 hours with his supervisor attending various events in Washington. Many of these programs were held in the Department of Interior and focused on finding jobs within the government.
“This experience gave me the contacts and ability to succeed in a competitive environment,” said Williams. “Living in Washington for almost three months was definitely an adjustment since I grew up in a small town. The experience taught me a lot about working for the government, building my professional network and overall, it taught me more about myself.”
While prospective college students may feel that an internship is all work and no play, William’s experience differs greatly. He had countless opportunities to visit the National Mall and various museums all while soaking up American history. Canoeing on the Potomac River and visiting NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center were just a few of the activities that he enjoyed most during his stay.
Not only did Williams enjoy many outings in Washington, but he also had a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend the formal retirement party for Secretary of Defense, Dr. Robert Gates. Williams was able to rub elbows with Washington’s elite at the party including President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Contrary to stereotypical belief, the big stars weren’t who excited Williams, but instead the military personnel. “The experience of being in the Pentagon with so many military leaders on a daily basis was quite humbling,” exclaimed Williams.
Williams believes he had a successful internship experience. It was educational, personal, fun and diverse. “I am glad I was given this opportunity,” he said. “I hope others in the future will be able to experience what I was able to see and do while working in our nation’s capital.”
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