“If I were in your position, I would use today to pack my bags and go back home. It’s better to wait for the hustlers fund and use it to start a business than to be here.” These were words that cut deep, words that brought tears to my eyes. However, in retrospect, these words were exactly what I needed to hear. They served as a catalyst for my determination to stay the course, reaffirming my conviction that I was in the right place, pursuing a just and meaningful path.
I’ve come to realize that it’s not easy for people to comprehend why someone would willingly let go of other lucrative opportunities in pursuit of a year of voluntary public service. My motivation was driven by a higher purpose – my faith, my personal growth, and my commitment to serve my country. Looking back, I take immense pride in one of my earliest independent decisions: joining GIPro.
Since October 31st, 2022, I have had the privilege of serving as a communication intern at the State Department for Public Service within the Public Communication Unit. Under the expert guidance of the unit’s head, I have actively engaged in a variety of roles, which have not only enriched my knowledge but also deepened my passion for public service.
My responsibilities have included assisting in the development of comprehensive communication and media strategies, crafting and editing stories on a range of pertinent issues before their public release, and acting as a liaison between media professionals and the general public on matters of shared concern. Additionally, I’ve had the opportunity to organize events and travel to cover significant occurrences within our community.
Throughout my tenure at the office, I never lost sight of the importance of making government communication accessible to all citizens. I understood that every member of our nation deserves to comprehend the workings of their government. Consequently, I wrote with meticulous care, ensuring that every critical detail was included while maintaining a commitment to simplicity. For the first time in my writing career, I eschewed the pressure for grandiloquent vocabulary, focusing solely on effective and inclusive communication.
One of the most significant lessons I’ve gleaned from this internship is the extraordinary power that lies within government communication. It is a vital tool for fostering transparency and trust within our society. When executed effectively, it has the potential to inform citizens about policies, encourage civic engagement, and foster a sense of unity among the people. However, it also bears the weighty responsibility of shaping public opinion, underscoring the need for its responsible and ethical use.
Initially, I grappled with punctuality, and the daily grind of heading to the office, especially when there wasn’t much work to occupy my time. It proved to be a challenging task to motivate myself to show up promptly each day. However, as time marched on, a gradual realization dawned upon me – a significant portion of an intern’s responsibilities often centered around clerical duties. This insight inspired me to take proactive steps of reaching out to officers within the State Department and extending a helping hand for clerical support whenever they required it.
As I reflect on this transformative journey, I can unequivocally declare that I have fully embraced it. I have served with dedication, experienced substantial personal growth, acquired invaluable knowledge, forged meaningful connections, and, above all, fulfilled my duty to God and the State Department for Public Service through my commitment to GIPro. Now, with a heart brimming with gratitude and a mind filled with wisdom, I am ready to embark on the next chapter.