Andrew Turner is a Master At Arms Petty Officer 1st Class in the US Navy. After sustaining an injury while on duty at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Andrew started an Operation Warfighter internship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the Department of Homeland Security. He shared an account of his injury and the beginning of his internship here. Today, Andrew checks in after several weeks on the job.
After the initial shock of settling in to a new position in a field I had absolutely no experience in, the work started becoming easier to do and I started remembering the methods and processes I had been shown. Around the time I started getting the hang of my job, my Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) got underway and I had to take a lot of days away from the internship to address the PEB and request a Formal Hearing. Luckily, my supervisor was very understanding and always told me, “Take care of your things, we’ll be here.”
Assimilating into the office environment was strange for me at first because there was no sense of regimental direction going on, or so I thought. What I didn’t see at first is that tasks and responsibilities are set out on long term timelines and are they are fluid enough to be changed when needed. As for the work itself, I am really loving it! This internship has provided me the opportunity to grow and learn about Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and Legislative issues as they relate to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The other great advantage with this type of internship is the constant mentorship I receive from my co-workers, especially about how to find Federal government work. Many have helped me tweak my resume, taught me how to use USAJobs, and showed me different ways to make myself as marketable as possible. Soon after all that help I was being referred to selection officials and it looks like I may have a career ahead of me. I don’t have the fear I had a few months ago when I was constantly asking myself, “What’s next?” I think this internship has given me back my sense of confidence that my anxiety and physical limitations had taken from me.