Dylan Akers Internship

National Guard Association of Illinois intern Dylan Akers &  supervisor (left) Major Andrew Adamczyk

My experience with the National Guard Association of Illinois has been outstanding. I started this internship not knowing what to expect. I had this preconceived notion that I would be fetching coffee and sorting mail, similar to Hollywood’s portrayal of an intern. However, my internship at NGAI went far above that, as they gave me the tools and real-world experiences needed to succeed in the future. I was able to support those who were planning the annual conference, make suggestions to improve the website and Facebook page, and get a glimpse of how board meetings are conducted.

This internship was not only a learning experience for me, but for NGAI as well. By being the first intern for NGAI, I was overwrought to be setting the standard for future interns. From the first day, I knew I wanted to do something for the organization that would leave a lasting impression. I partnered with Grunt Style, a local Illinois business that is owned and operated by veterans, to develop a t-shirt that would appeal to a younger demographic and that people would be proud to wear. The shirt came out great and was well received by the board and NGAI members alike.

I truly had a wonderful experience assisting with and attending the annual conference. I found it quite fascinating to get a behind the scenes look at how much effort it took to orchestrate such a large event. To see the conference come together piece by piece over the few short months of my internship was very satisfying. During the conference, I was able to get a firsthand look at how the business session takes place, as well as, the voting process for new board members. All in all, I believe the conference was a success and am proud to have been given that opportunity.

The National Guard Association of Illinois has allowed me to greatly develop my leadership capability, hone my skills as a manager, and ultimately reinforced my goals of pursuing a career in the defense or weapons manufacturing industries. I’m confident that NGAI has enhanced my professional development by helping me increase my interpersonal communication skills and exponentially improved my ability to network as well.