Inside the Internship: Department of Energy
February 13th, 2012
Over the summer, Julie Yee interned with the Department of Energy in Washington D.C. The internship exposed her to the effects of energy policy and offered a glimpse into life in our nation’s capital. The experience was so inspiring that Julie has decided to continue a relationship with DOE as one of its student ambassadors.
The phrase “Department of Energy internship” typically evokes the image of a student sitting in a Washington D.C. cubicle, fastidiously typing up a memo or inputting data into an Excel spreadsheet. While this may be the case for many interns, my internship was engaging and offered exposure to hands-on applications of energy policy. As an intern for the Lands Division of the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), I was involved with projects that not only broadened my awareness of the DOE’s mission, but also helped me realize the real impact of energy policy.
I interned with the Lands Team of the Folsom, CA office. As the name implies, most of my team’s projects regarded physical, financial, and legal issues concerning the land on which WAPA’s transmission lines are located. The concept of “land” rights and ownership is a deceivingly complex issue. Farmers can seek financial compensation for linemen who damage their crops and property liens can hinder and prolong the purchase of easements. For example, if a landowner has a lien against his property for unpaid Federal income taxes, then either he or WAPA must pay the amount before WAPA can obtain the easement. While working the Lands team, I engaged in projects that included talking to landowners and analyzing surveyor maps. Although sometimes daunting, these projects have refined my communication, analysis, and critical thinking abilities.
Although I did my share of tedious online research and Excel input, I cannot ignore my dynamic interactions with stakeholders and view into policy “in action.” I’m continuing my relationship with DOE as its Energy Student Ambassador for the Maryland, D.C., and Virginia regions. If you have any questions or interest in participating in a DOE student opportunity in the future, please contact me, Julie, at Julie.Yee@HQ.DOE.gov.
If you are interested in federal internships, look into attending the Government and Nonprofit Career Expo February 17th: https://www.career.virginia.edu/students/events/career_expo.php. For more internship information, visit our internship page or read the first post in this series.