W&J Connection Leads Jess Skobel ’20 to Internship at the Pentagon

Created: June 25, 2019
Last Updated: August 6, 2020

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WASHINGTON, PA (June 25, 2019)— There’s a President in the Pentagon this summer – a W&J President, that is.

Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) senior Jess Skobel ’20 used networking opportunities on campus to find her summer internship at the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense.

Jess’s advisor and Assistant Professor of History, David Kieran, Ph.D.connected her to an internship with the Historical Office of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Her relationship with Kieran has been an integral part of her College experience.

“Dr. Kieran’s connections were obviously extremely valuable, but what has also been valuable is the relationship I have with him as an advisor, in which he listens to me and helps me take steps to advance my career goals, and the relationship I have with him as a professor, in which he pushes me to learn the analytical and critical skills that a historian needs to be effective in the workforce,” she said.

Through her internship, Jess is doing website updates, research, and creating some original content for the web. Her classes as a history major at W&J prepared her well for the job.

“History is a hands-on field. If you want a job, you need to prove that you can handle hands-on work,” Jess said. “The research and historical analysis and writing skills I learned in my upper level history classes have been instrumental.”

The internship has already provided Jess with a host of valuable experiences. However, the Virginia native says the best part has been working inside the Pentagon.

“It’s such a notable location. Growing up in Virginia, I have always seen it but I have never been inside until this year, and it feels like a special opportunity,” she said.

Jess’s internship experience is supported by the Gordon E. Swartz History Fellowship, which is available to W&J students and provides monetary assistance for internship opportunities in the area of history.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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