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Summer 2022 Internship Cohort Reflects on Impact of Public Service

Throughout the summer of 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce became home to some of the best and brightest interns our nation’s colleges and universities have to offer. Participating both in-person and remotely, this year’s cohort of summer interns worked across the department to gain insight and experience in public service and make memories that would last a lifetime.

Sydney Lyn Lewis, a rising senior studying marine science at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo shares, an intern with NOAA’s Deep-Sea Coral Research and Technology Program shares, “not only have I learned about the ecology of deep-sea corals and sponges but also how the United States is conserving these habitats as a part of fisheries management.”

With a focus on creating economic opportunities for all, interns across the department utilized their skill sets to further Commerce’s mission and provide every American with a chance to succeed.

Office of the White House Liaison intern Gianna Juarez was especially integral in helping to create this opportunity for her peers. “As the intern to the Office of the White House Liaison, I’ve been heading the OWHL Internship Program for the Fall 2022 cohort! The biggest highlight for me has been conducting a handful of these interviews myself, and speaking to such passionate individuals, hoping to bring their public service skills to Commerce.”

More Commerce interns share the highlights of their experiences.

Aamer Uddin interned in the Office of Public Engagement, Office of the Secretary

“I've had the privilege of creating the founding documents for the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, reaching out to more than 500 stakeholders for supply chain resiliency events, and spearheading a weekly memo for the White House. I've learned that the people closest to the problem are closest to the solution.”

Nahida Islam joined the Office of Public Affairs, International Trade Administration

“I chose to intern with the International Trade Administration, Office of Public Affairs to learn more about how ITA communicates its important mission of promoting U.S. exports abroad and attracting foreign investment to the public.”

Charles Huang interned in the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, Office of the Secretary

“I’ve helped with policy-related research on workforce development, supply chain resiliency, and other economic policy efforts. I’ve also been working a project to improve how Federal Advisory Committees are established and renewed, so government can more efficiently hear from people on the ground and more effectively work to meet their needs.”

Marissa Pekular joined the Department of Commerce, Office of Public Affairs 

“I have had the privilege of leading the communications strategy on the Department’s Equity Action Plan. This initiative promotes equity across the Department by offering resources, training sessions, and town hall meetings for the Commerce workforce. DEIA also emphasizes the importance of commemorative events and speeches.“

Margaret (Meg) Lillis interned for the International Trade Administration’s Global Markets, Office of Africa

“I have been primarily working with the Foreign Commercial Service teams in Africa performing market research for U.S. companies looking to expand into African countries. This research includes understanding whether the local populations would have a need/desire for the products or services, and if so, which companies already operate in the country that would be competitors or potential partners for the U.S. company.”

Samantha Swartz joined the Department of Commerce, Implementation Coordination Office

“As an intern in the Implementation Coordination Office (CIC) in its first few months of existence, I have supported the successful implementation of infrastructure and related programs. CIC’s entrepreneurial team has implemented new metrics for success, instituted data governance practices, identified and managed enterprise-level risks, and provided proactive oversight to bureaus and programs.”

This year’s internship cohort has made a lasting impact at the Department of Commerce. The skills brought to their offices, teams, and divisions are unmatched and will help the American people for years of come.

More of our Intern Spotlight Series here.