By Katherine Davis
The Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) Fellowship allows university students to prepare for careers as information management specialists while completing their education. The program consists of two internships, one domestic and one overseas, as well as a year of professional development. This summer, Whitney Hicks, a student at Pennsylvania State University, completed her domestic internship with the Bureau of Information Resource Management’s (IRM) Mobile and Remote Access Division (MRA).
Hicks’ internship placement took an unanticipated turn due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All internships took place remotely as opposed to working in the Department’s offices in Washington to minimize risk to FAIT Fellows.
Despite operating in a virtual environment, Hicks had the opportunity to obtain hands-on learning experience with Department technology. Through supporting IRM’s HoloLens 2 initiative, she was able to explore the variety of use cases for Microsoft HoloLens, an augmented reality device. HoloLens technology enables subject matter experts to be anywhere in the world within seconds by leveraging remote assist features. During Hicks’ internship, she compiled use cases for the device, developed standard operating procedures and quick start guides, and captured photos.
“Although the physical space of my internship changed, remote technology ensured my time was just as valuable,” said Hicks. “It is with immense pleasure that I reflect on the learning opportunities I had through MRA and the FAIT Program. Both my internship with MRA and the career development services offered by the FAIT Fellowship Program have tremendously improved my technical expertise and communication skills. I look forward to continuing to build my experience through my fellowship, with the hope that someday I will have the opportunity to use my skills to serve as an [information management specialist] in the Foreign Service.”
For more information about the FAIT Fellowship Program, visit their website.
Katherine Davis is a communications consultant in the Bureau of Information Resource Management’s Mobile and Remote Access Division.