AFMC helping today’s PCIP interns become the Air Force of tomorrow

Premier College intern Matthew Robinson, a mechanical engineering student at Cedarville University, learns how to create a 3D model of an airplane part using scanning software at the University of Dayton Research Institute. Robinson was an intern at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio in 2019. (Contributed photo)
Premier College intern Matthew Robinson, a mechanical engineering student at Cedarville University, learns how to create a 3D model of an airplane part using scanning software at the University of Dayton Research Institute. Robinson was an intern at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio in 2019. (Contributed photo)

The Air Force Premier College Internship Program is dedicated to helping college and graduate students find their passion within the Air Force Civilian Service.

In the 2021 Air Force program, there are 500 interns working at installations across the country. AFMC employs 350 of these interns throughout the command.

“This is a great program where students get the opportunity to spend the summer as an intern and determine if the Air Force is a good fit for their future. Once interns complete the program requirements and graduate, they can have their internships be converted to developmental positions where they can continue to grow their career with the Air Force,” said Keri Poole, Air Force Materiel Command PCIP manager.

Through the PCIP, students work 10-12 weeks for the Air Force alongside mentors in career fields related to their college major. Interns who do well have the potential of obtaining a full-time, permanent position after they graduate, complete with a career development plan, federal employee benefits and more.

Computer science intern Christopher Wright shared how working at AFMC has helped to not only prepare him for what it is like to work for the Air Force, but that it has also prepared him for his path in the future.

“This program will help my future employment through the connections I have made and the communication skills I have gained. Working [in the PCIP Program] has been a blessing because it has allowed me to develop skills I would not have developed if I had worked at a normal, private-sector internship,” said Wright.

Wright also shared that working for the Air Force is not as stressful as he anticipated. He discussed how the people on his team do not expect him to know everything right away and that almost all tasks in his workplace are team-oriented. He appreciates that he can always reach out for help when needed.

Contract specialist intern Max Digiacomo shared how his biggest takeaway so far is being able to use the resources that are now available to him. He stated how there is always something or someone readily available to help him succeed.

“This program will help me with future employment by developing new skills that are useful in a wide variety of industries,” said Digiacomo.

The PCIP supervisors are a large factor in the success of the program. AFMC PCIP supervisor Dolores Le had only positive feedback to say about the program. She says that the true value of the internship program is realized in the effortless transition when the interns enter the workforce after college.

“The PCIP Program gives students an opportunity to become part of the Air Force family by working directly in the field,” said Le. “The program allows the interns to engage in real world applications and [allows] the organization to gain additional support from students with new ideas who are eager to share what they have learned in the classroom.”

For more information on the PCIP Program and the different career fields offered, visit https://afciviliancareers.com/student-roa/ to learn more and apply.