Emily Mihalik says her participation in Army Career Program (CP-29) has served to open her eyes to the importance of installation management.

"It's really an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the organization and what its purpose is," she said. "You get to figure out where you fit in."

The program draws from 24 commands and organizations across the Army and serves Army civilian employees whose duties contribute to installation management and its core functions.

Mihalik, who holds a master's degree in art history from George Washington University, is completing her program with the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Fusion Cell.

Participants take part in the CP-29 program for four years. For the first two years of the program, they are interns. Mihalik began the program in 2015.

"We were placed in different installations in different components all over the country," she said.

Mihalik said participants also don't know where they will be placed when they are accepted into the program.

"I feel really lucky to have been placed here," she said.

Mihalik called the CP-29 program an incredible training opportunity. While participating in the program, she has learned about strategic planning, budgeting and served as the ICE (Interactive Customer Evaluation) program manager for the joint base.

"I encourage people to do this program," she said. "It's almost like going to graduate school."

When she came to JBM-HH, Mihalik was assigned to the Plans, Analysis and Integration Office (PAIO).

"I worked in the PAIO office under Donna Maxey and had a wonderful start," she said.

While in the PAIO office, Mihalik said she learned how installation management works.

"I feel so lucky that I got that start under her to just really understand what our mission is, what the strategic plan of the installation is. It helped me appreciate all the hard work that goes into making Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall work."

While participating in the program, Mihalik also worked alongside of people from Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

"I think for me, it's an opportunity to explore, both as an individual and as a member of a team, what it means to work for the military," she said.

Mihalik said CP-29's emphasis on training has helped her to improve her professional skill set.

"The training for me has made such a big difference," she said. "I've become a better employee because of the training."

Mihalik's next assignment will begin in August working for JBM-HH public affairs office.

Pentagram Staff Writer Julia LeDoux can be reached at jledoux@dcmilitary.com.