B-CU Senior Completes Internship in Washington
Unlike other college students around the country, Runnold Spence, Jr., did not take the summer off to hit the beach and hang out with his friends.
Spence, an Orlando native who returns to campus this fall as a senior accounting major, has completed a 10-week internship with the Department of Transportation (DOT) Maritime Administration's Office of Program Performance in Washington, D.C.
The Office of Program Performance evaluates office operations to ensure effective standard operating procedures are in place. Spence was involved with metrics, reporting and the creation of office dashboards.
Internal controls manager, Casandra Holloway, mentored Spence through his internship. From what to wear to the creation of an Outlook appointment, Holloway guided Spence through the summer. She even included him in meetings at the highest level of the DOT.
"He got to work with a lot of people in the agency," said Holloway. "He was included in many meetings, even at the Secretary of Transportation level."
Holloway, who was named one of six Mentors of the Year at her agency, is looking forward to watching Spence grow.
"I tried to mentor him both professionally and personally," she said. "I consider myself his mentor for life."
The internship was directed by the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, an independent, nonprofit organization that serves colleges and institutions by providing selected students opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C., for academic credit.
In addition to working full-time at their internships, the students in the program were also given the opportunity to tour Washington landmarks like Capitol Hill and the White House and they were required to complete a 10- to 12-page research paper.
With this incredible experience behind him, Spence says he is now determined to return to Washington after graduation to work for the government.
"I learned that if you try hard, set your goals right, you can be the best at anything," he said. "You have to keep your head straight and focus and it will pay off."'
Michael Zack, director of the Office of Program Performance, says he and his staff maintain close relationships with their former interns.
"We try to show them the warmest welcome can," Zack said. "And since this office focuses on measurement and evaluation after the fact, the key indicator here is that one day Runnold is on our staff."
(pictured: Runnold Spence, Jr. and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood)
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About Bethune Cookman University:
Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement. B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000. For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.