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Career News | April 29, 2021

Team Dynamics in the Internship Program

By DCAA Staff Writer

DCAA prides itself on creating a culture that supports growth and learning, especially for new employees and participants in the Pathways Internship Program. DCAA builds upon the TEAMIT values to cultivate an effective team dynamic between interns, teammates, and supervisors.

Interns are part of the team with direct audit responsibilities—and high expectations. While everyone’s roles and responsibilities may differ, the expectation of performing with the same attention to detail and accuracy remains. There’s a lot to learn, from understanding Incurred Cost audits to presenting findings to contractors, so learning and performing the role can seem like a big lift. That’s why exceptional teamwork and team dynamics are such an important part of what makes the Agency work so successfully.

Clear and ongoing communication is crucial for starting and maintaining effective work strategies and a positive team dynamic. “Work is shared and communicated on a daily basis,” says intern George Curran, “My supervisor has made it very easy to ask questions and given me the ability to learn.” Amanda Obara adds that, “My supervisors typically send me an email of the work to be completed, so I have a reference of exactly what [to do]. They also explain to me how to do every new assignment and show me examples I [can] reference.”

Good teamwork skills can also help lighten the load by providing space to learn and carry out responsibilities with respect for every member of the team. Intern Ronald Vonberge notes, “There will be a lot of new information given to you ... But that's okay, there are so many people who are willing to help you out and get you the training you need to be successful.” Many interns also note that they communicate well with each other to share lessons learned and best practices.

Finally, part of building a positive team dynamic with interns lies with the type of assignments interns get to experience. Megan Willems reports that “[my] main role is voucher reviewer, but my supervisor has put me on a variety of other assignments with fellow team members to see a little bit of everything.” Zachary Cooper notes that “everyone is very hands-on, and the training is top-notch. I feel like what I do is important and that I'm treated more like a team member than an intern.”

DCAA interns work on things that matter—directly contributing to support our military around the world. Their supervisors and other team members are with them every step of the way, committed to helping them gain the best experience.