BU Graduate Student Lands Internship with Defense Information Systems Agency
Bellevue University graduate student Stacie Johnson is currently a student trainee contract specialist with DISA's Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization at Scott Air Force Base – within the DISA Pathways Internship Program.
She retired from the United States Air Force in 2018 and knows she's on the right path.
“DISA offers the opportunity to train me from the ground up to become a Contracting Officer,” Johnson said. “They allow me to continue to serve the Warfighter and make sure that the mission is done.”
A Contracting Officer (CO) is a person who can bind the Federal Government of the United States to a contract. Contracting Officers hold a warrant that allows them to negotiate on behalf of the United States Government.
Johnson, who started the internship in January 2020, will graduate from Bellevue University in June of 2021. At that time, the internship will end. All internships are currently virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since I have been here, they have taken me in and welcomed me into the family with open arms and they’ve been training me on how to just do just about everything when it comes to completing contracts,” Johnson said.
DISA is the premier IT combat support agency in the Department of Defense. They are the nation's trusted provider to connect and protect the Warfighter in cyberspace, Jason Martin, Vice Director of DISA's Development and Business Center, said.
“What that means is we have the Department of Defense information network that connects all of the military networks together and we are really the backbone for the Department of Defense. Our intent is to provide the connection to ensure that we can increase the protection for the Department of Defense in the warfighting domain,” Martin said.
While Johnson came to the department through the Pathways Program, Martin said there are multiple opportunities available to students to intern with them through various programs.
“At the end of each internship, students know more about working in public service, which is very important to us,” Martin said. “But, it also gives them experience and allows them to add those skills to their resumes which shows they have done a true mission-related job in their college career.”
Career opportunities like the DISA Pathways Program are important because students gain real-world knowledge which ultimately can help them land full-time positions. The agency is always looking for a broad range of interns for its IT programs, Martin said.
“We need leadership and we want patriots,” he added. “We are really looking for well-rounded individuals who can provide and obtain practical experience to help us provide our mission for the Warfighter, but also to help shape their careers.”
For more information about internships and careers with the agency, visit disa.mil.