What I Did This Summer: Entry #6

Anesa Diaz-Uda is a second year MPA student concentrating in Management and Institutional Analysis.  I asked her to share about her internship this past summer and she wrote the following.

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AnesaI spent my summer in Washington, DC working as a Summer Associate for Deloitte Consulting. Deloitte is one of the largest professional services organizations in the world and is one of the Big Four auditors.  However, in DC I worked solely with the Federal Consulting Practice.   It was a pleasure applying the skills I’d garnered at SIPA, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity.  Here’s what I was up to…

My client was the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)), and I worked with their staff on a Research and Development effort focused on cultural awareness programming.   We sought to employ commercial methodologies to rapidly build source networks capable of providing information to help frame issues in a rich socio-cultural context to answer Department of Defense (DoD) requirements.

The project had three distinct phases, and I was able to assist in the first two.  When I first started I conducted an online survey of Internet and classified systems to discover and catalog DoD programs providing cultural awareness products to DoD personnel. Upon completion, we created a metric to determine what programs constituted the DoD’s leading practices, and began conducting personal interviews of the top programs.

At this point, I was able to go out on my own to meet with the leadership of these various programs to better determine the strengths and weaknesses of each one.  From here, we began to synthesize our findings to offer a comparative analysis that would eventually become a commercial methodology for DoD cultural awareness programming.  Unfortunately, I had to leave at this point to return to SIPA, but I was impressed and proud of the work I was able to offer our client.

I never imagined myself working for DoD, but it was an exciting opportunity, and an area of our federal government I hope to learn much more about. As you can imagine, I was very apprehensive when I first started.  However, my team did an amazing job preparing me with the proper clearances as well as familiarizing me with necessary information and protocol.  I enjoyed my team immensely, and was constantly impressed by their level of expertise and knowledge as well as their kindness.

I also got to know my fellow interns.  There were seven of us from public policy programs around the country, and it was great to share stories about our schools, as well as learn more about the different projects we were staffed on.  Deloitte is growing its public policy community within the Consulting practice, and it was an exciting time to be with the firm as well and in DC.  I was and continue to be very pleased with my decision to work for Deloitte this past summer.

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