WASHINGTON -- Seven college students culminated their participation in a summer internship program with a July 28 visit to the Pentagon here, during which they met with soldiers and civilians to discuss their career aspirations and gain insight into military and Government service.The students had interned at the Arlington, Virginia-based Millennium Corporation for three months, during which they took on tasks and engagements that "promote[d] career and personal development" and "develop[ed] professional and lifelong skills," according to a 2016 article on the program.The visit began with lunch at the Army Executive Dining Facility, where the students were joined by soldiers and civilians from a variety of occupational backgrounds, including data analysis, physical therapy, legal advisement, medicine, and technical editing. The soldiers and civilians shared some significant life experiences and offered advice on pursuing a career after college. The students, meanwhile, asked questions and took the opportunity to establish professional contact with their hosts -- one of the primary purposes of the visit, the interns' senior mentor said."The intent of the visit was to demonstrate the importance of networking," said Robert Jones, who assisted the students during their 10-week internship. "The students got to talk to people who might be their contemporaries in the future."Teresa Cummings, 20, a junior studying technical writing at James Madison University, called the experience "eye-opening" and said it was beneficial getting to meet and talk with professionals both in and out of her field of study, because they each had unique advice and experiences to share."Talking with everyone there really gave me some things to think about when I am trying to decide what to do [with my career]," said Cummings.Lynda Vaughan, 21, a senior at JMU with an interest in politics, said the experience was particularly insightful, given her desired career."It was a really good experience for me because I do want to work for the government one day," said Vaughan, "so [it was helpful] to meet people who are where I want to be in life and hear their stories and get advice from them."Among the soldiers in attendance at the lunch was Maj. Gen Leslie C. Smith, the deputy inspector general of the Army. Smith, a 32-year Army veteran, has known and worked with leaders from Millennium for most of his career, and said he is reassured of the quality of the future workforce every time he meets and talks with interns from the program."Each time we do a mentorship or development session, I am reminded that each generation is ready to stand up and take its place in life," said Smith. "We have to continue to encourage and inspire these students. We can then step back to see the fruits of our labor, just as other people did with us."Following lunch, Randy Odom, the outreach officer for the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army, led the students on a tour of the Pentagon. The tour included a walk through corridors four and five of the building, the portion of the building where terrorists deliberately crashed a commercial airliner on Sept. 11, 2001. Odom, an unofficial Pentagon historian, answered questions and offered facts about the day of the attack, and later, during a tour of another corridor with photos and displays in tribute to Gen. Douglas MacArthur, he told a humorous story about the commander of the Allied forces in the Pacific theater during World War II.Jones, a retired Army colonel, said the visit was a rewarding experience for both himself and the students. He said he hopes that after completing their internship, the students gained useful and valuable skills and insight that will help them with their careers after graduation."My goal is, when these students walk across that stage to reach for a diploma or certificate, they're not still wondering what they want to do," said Jones. "They might still have questions, but it's not a giant question mark."