Student, MICC use intern program to work together
Kim Wentrcek, left, and Brig. Gen. Doug Lowrey talk to Emily Jones about working in the Mission and Installation Contracting Command-Fort Sam Houston contracting office at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Jones is one of three college students who are interning this year with the command in the Army’s Student Intern program. Jones works under supervision on various acquisition oriented tasks assigned to her. She is a communications and conflict management major at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Wentrcek is the director of MICC-Fort Sam Houston contracting office. Lowrey is the MICC commanding general at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. (Photo Credit: Ben Gonzales) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Aug. 2, 2022) -- Three college students are taking advantage of the Army Student Intern Program this summer to gain work experience in the acquisition career field with the Mission and Installation Contracting Command.

This year, the MICC selected Emily Jones, Caley Neel and Mia White using the Army Student Intern Program to shape its workforce and encourage future college graduates to consider available positions within the command.

The student intern program offers post-secondary students 12 weeks of full-time employment, up to 480 hours, during the summer months. Their employment is intended to continue each subsequent year during the summer months while they are enrolled in school.

To be eligible for consideration, students must be enrolled and in good academic standing at a full-time program at an institution of higher education. Also, the student is making satisfactory progress toward a baccalaureate or graduate degree and has completed at least one year of their degree program.

“The overall intent of this program is to convert student interns into Army fellows at their current assigned locations, so they will fill an Army Civilian Career Management Activity allocation assigned to the MICC,” said Letty Walsh, who is a human resource specialist and the program manager for the MICC. “This program will be used to eventually fill MICC vacancies. Upon successful completion of this two-year program, they will transition into a vacant permanent position within the MICC, and it is usually in the same office where they train.”

As student trainees, Jones, Neel and White receive hands-on practical experience in the acquisition workforce, assisting contracting and procurement personnel. They are involved with such tasks as: maintaining contract files; reviewing or editing a variety of procurement documents; compiling data and information needed by contract negotiators, contract administrators or other specialists; and assisting with research and collecting information. They also receive instruction on basic methods, procedures and techniques of used in the contracting and procurement process.

Jones is assigned to MICC-Fort Sam Houston contracting office at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.

“The program gives a good idea of what it’s like to work for the government,” said Jones, who is a communications and conflict management major at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. “I have the opportunity to apply what I have learned in college in a low-risk environment. Through the work I have been doing here this summer, I now have a greater understanding of contract administration and the life cycle of a contract.”

Neel, working with the MICC Installation Readiness Center at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, is attending college online through the American Military University in Charles Town, West Virginia.

“In my role as a student intern of contracting, I have had the opportunity to see the real-world application of my academic studies as a government contracting and acquisition major,” Neel said. “My division has included me in both big-picture meetings as well as day-to-day operations to enhance my understanding of Army contracting from the top-down. Additionally, I have become familiarized with Army contracting systems, and had the opportunity to take Defense Acquisition University courses specific to the MICC that has added to my general academic knowledge.”

Walsh said the program provides an opportunity for the command to shape its workforce and functions as a recruitment tool to test out potential employees. Interns who have a positive experience with the organization will speak highly about it among their contacts, increasing visibility and strengthening the reputation of the Army and command with a new generation – the future workforce.

White is assigned to MICC-Fort Carson contracting office in Colorado Springs, Colorado. White is a communication major at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

“This internship is allowing me to gain a lot of hands-on experience when it comes to creating contracts,” White said. “I can now apply my knowledge of contracts to the real world. For instance, the market research allows the contractor to look at consumer behavior and economic trends to confirm and improve our business propositions. I have been applying that to the real world whenever I am out and about. I often ask myself if this is something that I could see consumers being interested in. I am currently helping with closeouts. I am making sure that the contract has met all the terms of the contract, all administrative actions have been completed, all disputes settled, and final payment have been made.”

About the MICC

Headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,300 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. As part of its mission, MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.