By Angelina Casarez, Air Force’s Personnel Center Public Affairs
The Air Force’s Personnel Center hosted its first of four 2019 Premier College Intern Program symposiums in San Antonio, Texas, May 29-31 with more than 60 interns attending.
The 12-week paid intern program is designed to attract full time college students who are seeking a career in Air Force Civilian Service. Many interns transition into the PALACE Acquire or Copper Cap program after completing their respective degree.
The symposium kicked off with opening mentor remarks from Gwendolyn DeFilippi, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services, Headquarters, U. S. Air Force. DeFilippi, a former intern herself, spoke to the importance of internships, perspective and development.
“You matter to us a lot because you bring a different perspective,” said DeFilippi. “The future of our Air Force depends on having great people like yourselves.”
The symposium focused on three themes:
- My Air Force, which explained the Air Force’s history and mission. In this portion of the symposium, interns toured Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, met with active duty Airmen and had an opportunity to see what happens behind the scenes in various units.
- My Fit, which focused on how interns fit into their organization. In this portion, guest speakers discussed the Air Force structure, explained career field-specific information, and participated in mentor-focused luncheons.
- My Career, which explained what an Air Force career looks like. In this portion, interns learned about career development, what happens after they complete their internship, mobility agreements and benefits and entitlements.
“The symposium has been interesting,” said Jessica Burress, Communications and Information PCIP intern at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. “It’s been a good broadening of our knowledge of the Air Force.”
During panel discussions, career field team experts spoke to the importance of networking and collaborating with one another in order to accomplish the Air Force mission.
We wanted these men and women to experience something different than the typical PowerPoint briefings,” said Kristina Whitfield, AFPC PCIP program manager. “Our workforce culture is changing and for some of these interns this is their first job. The talent we’re seeing is incredible, and these symposiums highlight how important it is for our interns to learn their jobs, build relationships, and prepare themselves for an Air Force career.”
Maj. Gen. Andrew J. Toth, AFPC commander, met with interns during the symposium to answer their questions and offer his perspective on an Air Force career.
“First and foremost I want to welcome you to the world’s greatest Air Force! We need civilian Airmen with your enthusiasm and passion to help drive innovation that helps us remain the world’s greatest,” said Toth. “I’m excited about your decision to be part of this remarkable program and I’m confident you’ll find being an Airman is extremely rewarding.”
The other PCIP symposiums will be held in June at Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Tinker AFB, Okla., and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.
To learn more about Air Force Civilian Service visit www.afciviliancareers.com. For more information about Air Force personnel programs, visit the AFPC public website.