Interns Hold Career Assistance Fair for Veterans - Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA)
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Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA)


Interns Hold Career Assistance Fair for Veterans

June 4, 2009

Pictures from the Veterans Assistance Fair
    Photos courtesy of Daniella Newton

On June 4, 2009, the acquisition interns from the VA Acquisition Academy (VAAA) partnered with the Army Community Services at Fort Detrick and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation to hold a Career Boost event at Fort Detrick designed to assist area Veterans in obtaining employment in the federal government.

VAAA Chancellor Lisa Doyle welcomed more than 90 attendees with inspirational remarks, thanked them for their service, and invited them to take full advantage of the day’s activities.  Doyle encouraged the Veterans to learn about career possibilities in the acquisition field, and to apply to future internship classes at the Academy.

The event encapsulates one of the reasons the VA Acquisition Academy’s approach to developing acquisition professionals is so unique — the VA core mission is infused into every facet of the program.  The interns are exposed to what their job function means to the VA’s mission and connect with that mission by visiting VA Medical Centers and working with the Veterans they support.

“Mission service projects are a big part of our internship program,” said Internship School Vice-Chancellor Melissa Starinsky.  “It’s those small daily differences of doing your job well that add up to make a big difference for our Veterans and the taxpayer,” she said.  “The purpose of the mission service projects is to help the acquisition interns connect with those they serve — to instill a passion to serve and drive interns to always take that extra step to develop acquisition solutions that serve the Veteran.”

The event was a collaboration of lessons learned from a seasoned Veteran employment counselor and an interagency panel that included several VAAA acquisition interns, chaired by Starinsky.  Other VAAA interns provided hands-on assistance to Veterans to help them understand how to write strong knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) summaries and provided tips on federal resumes.  Each Veteran was given a CD with presentation materials to take home to make it easier to use USA Jobs and complete federal applications.

It is more vital than ever that VA has a highly skilled, professional acquisition workforce passionately devoted to the agency’s mission.  The VA Acquisition Academy is developing acquisition professionals who understand the complexities of acquisition, possess strong leadership and communication skills, and are highly committed public servants who care deeply about those whom they serve.

The acquisition interns conducted three other mission service projects during the Academy’s inaugural year.  The interns visited the Martinsburg VA Medical Center and helped run a “casino” for the first event which commemorated Veterans Day.  The second project documented the stories of several Veterans for the Veterans History Project, which was featured at a Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) Intern Coalition meeting held at VA Central Office in January 2009.  The third project raised funds for a residence for homeless Veterans.  The next class of acquisition interns will begin in August 2009, providing more opportunities to make a difference.

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