Welcome to the OCOMMS Office at the Department of Interior!

Last Thursday, June 1st, I had the incredible opportunity to work in the OCOMMS office at the Department of Interior for the first time. The occasion was the raising of the Progress Pride Flag, symbolizing the start of Pride Month. Alongside my colleagues from the NPS Office of Communications and employees from other bureaus, we gathered together to listen to the inspiring words of Secretary Deb Haaland.

Secretary Haaland’s speech from the penthouse overlooking the Washington Memorial deeply resonated with me. She emphasized the significance of Pride Month and the crucial need for an inclusive environment. It was an honor to witness her dedication not only to the cause but also to the LGBTQ+ individuals within the Department of Interior. After the flag reached its elevated position, proudly above the DOI, I settled into my office on the second floor, conveniently located just beneath Director Chuck Sams’ office. Although I didn’t have the chance to meet Director Sams on that particular day, I made my way up to the third floor, hoping to catch a glimpse of his office from outside (check out the picture!).

The rest of the day was filled with team meetings focused on collaboration and discussions about upcoming projects. I learned more about the projects I will be involved in, including the #MyParkStory campaign. This initiative involves working closely with NPS employees to help them share their personal stories and experiences that led them to the National Park Service. While these tasks may not seem particularly exciting to an outsider, I was genuinely thrilled to be a part of such meaningful work. Although my role primarily involves remote work, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the office, finally putting faces to the names I had seen on my computer screen throughout the previous week. I look forward to the possibility of going into the office more frequently and connecting with other members of the team.

Director Chuck Sams' office at the end of the hallway.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have had such a momentous first day at the office. It’s not every day that one can say they witnessed a historic occasion in the presence of the Secretary of the Interior. The opportunity to go into the office, meet my colleagues, and experience the team’s dynamics firsthand was a refreshing break from the usual work-from-home routine. I’m grateful for every opportunity and experience that this internship will offer. Being part of such an amazing team that makes a significant impact fills me with excitement and appreciation. I look forward to the journey ahead and the chance to contribute to the NPS’s work.

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