Featuring summer interns: Sam Wood at Maine Bureau of Rehabilitation Services

As summer government internships wrap up we are featuring some of our 2020 student interns. 

What an interesting summer for interns!

Samantha Wood is an intern studying at the University of Maine at Farmington. She is from New Hampshire and stayed in Maine this summer to work with us here at the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) in the Maine Department of Labor. Sam was extremely flexible as we adjusted and planned for projects that she could do remotely. Being a college student Sam easily adjusted to, and embraced, working from home. Sam was not afraid to email staff, introduce herself, and let them know she was available for assistance.  She currently spends 2 days in the office.

Sam has been busy working with our Systems Improvement and Quality Assurance (SIQA) unit on our Intranet – updating, organizing, and making documents easier to find and manage. Sam joined in the technical assistance training Maine received from the Older Individuals who are Blind Technical Assistance Center at Mississippi State University and the Ace Academy (Advocacy, Communications, Employment) where she learned about challenges with visual impairments. She has been active in the Information Technology Advisory Council (ITAC) and participating in quarterly meetings. Sam is not afraid to jump into projects. She is also working on the cross-agency W.O.R.K. services program (Workforce Opportunities, Referrals, and Knowledge Services) with the Department of Education, providing them with much needed assistance. Sam is currently working alongside (virtually, of course!) the other BRS intern in the Step-Up program through the University of Maine and is working directly with Vocational Rehabilitation students online. It has been a pleasure working with Sam this summer.  – Annette Stevens, intern supervisor, Bureau of Rehabilitation Services

Working with the Maine BRS this summer has truly been a great experience. This internship was given to me through the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center’s Summer Government Internship Program. This was not the first internship I received through them as my first internship through the program got cancelled due to COVID-19. I would not have this internship if it weren’t for the hard work of those at the MCSPC’s Summer Government Internship Program and I am extremely grateful for their work. However, I have really enjoyed my time working with the Maine BRS and it is an experience that I have learned a lot from and will never forget. I am glad things worked out the way they did.

Everyone I have worked with as been incredible. I have done a lot of work for the Bureau on their Intranet by reorganizing pages for them and making them more user friendly. I am also working on the Step-Up program which is an early college program that works with students who have disabilities across the state. Working with the students in the Step-Up program has been my favorite part of this internship. I am also helping with Adult Education by ensuring the correct information gets put on their website. This internship has really taught me what it is like to work in state government and how to work with many kinds of people. I have also learned about the intersectionality of disabilities through online webinars and the people I have worked with that will hopefully help me in my future career as a lawyer one day. I am truly grateful for this internship in these uncertain times and I have enjoyed every minute of it. – Sam Wood, summer intern