An AFCS paid, full-time internship is not only a great introduction to the Air Force and the multiple roles Civilians play in its important mission, but it’s also the perfect launching pad to a long and rewarding career with the world’s most technologically advanced Air Force.
For June’s Aim Hire Webinar, “A Class Act,” our team traveled to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, to record the show live on-location on June 7 during the 2023 Premier College Intern Program (PCIP) Student Orientation.
During this special episode, host Bob Hall is joined by Ed Bujan, the Chief of AFCS Force Renewal Programs and two interns from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Michaela Mesiti, a Systems Engineer and Palace Acquire (PAQ) intern, and Lauren Patrick, a Financial Analyst and 2nd-year Premier College Internship Program (PCIP) intern. Together they do a deep dive into AFCS’s Premier College (PCIP), Palace Acquire (PAQ), and Copper Cap (COP) Internship Programs.
Every minute of this webinar is an education in itself, but if you’re interested in the Cliffs Notes version, we recommend the clips below:
(4:56) Ed describes why force renewal is so important to the Air Force’s success.
(8:16) Ed details what it takes to qualify for the Premier College Intern Program (PCIP).
(9:14) Bob reiterates the fact that, unlike the military, there is no age requirement or limitation to becoming an AFCS intern. So, even if you decided to pursue higher education later in life, as long as you meet the programs’ academic requirements, the many benefits of AFCS internships are still open to you.
(10:16) They don’t call it “Premier” for nothing. Ed shares insights into how many students apply each year and the select few who make the cut.
(12:25) Lauren describes her experience as a Financial Analyst intern with the Air Force Research Lab and shares her favorite experience.
(17:15) Ed characterizes the Copper Cap (COP) Internship Program for STEM students interested in Contract Administration and describes the qualities they look for in the ideal Copper Cap candidate.
(20:01) Ed outlines how AFCS interns are assigned to their programs once selected.
(24:48) Lauren and Michaela detail the unique work environment, mentorships, and culture the Air Force provides interns and the tremendous amount of responsibility it entrusts with each.
(28:51) Ed lists some of the intangible benefits, beyond salary, AFCS paid internships provide.
(32:14) Michaela and Lauren outline their experiences as PCIP interns and how the experience aligns with their education and career ambitions.
(37:19) Many viewers are surprised to learn civilians fill key roles in the Air Force. Michaela was no different. Here, she describes learning that for the first time.
(40:29) Bob highlights how AFCS’s 170,000 civilians work shoulder to shoulder with the military to ensure continuity of programs as active-duty Airmen rotate in and out of their positions.
(42:06) Lauren and Ed explain some of the many benefits AFCS internship programs provide students, like covering college tuition and paying for advanced degrees.
(47:05) Lauren and Michaela relate the sense of security and well-being a paid AFCS internship provides, knowing you have a rewarding career awaiting at the completion of your internship program.
(49:23) Ed details the kind of training and mentoring you can expect as an AFCS intern.
(56:45) Michaela shares how her internship provides her real-world, practical application of the lessons learned in college.