January 22, 2024

From Summer Intern to City Employee: A College Student Shares Her Start to a Career

The City’s award-winning internship program offers college students hands-on experience in their field of study.

Jordan Shirley In Front of Screen Presenting About ECCS to Group

After working in retail stores during high school and college, Jordan Shirley wasn’t just looking for another job — she wanted a career. When her co-worker mentioned the City of Virginia Beach was offering paid internships for college students, Jordan applied for an intern position in the Human Resources Department.  

“HR is something I was already interested in,” she said. “It seemed like a perfect opportunity.” 

It turned out to be just that. As her final semesters of college were winding down, the summer internship gave Jordan valuable on-the-job experience and helped her discover what she wanted to do next. “I learned about a lot of HR responsibilities that I didn’t have a grasp on before. Things they don’t teach you in college,” she said.  

During the internship, Jordan’s assigned projects included updating job descriptions, prescreening candidates, assisting new hires and helping the talent acquisition team with virtual Q & A’s and career fairs. Sampling so many aspects of human resources, Jordan realized she was especially drawn to recruitment.  

As her internship wrapped up, she applied to work in the Emergency Communications & Citizen Services (ECCS) department as a community engagement and recruitment specialist, a role that involved both public education and recruiting 911 operators. After interviewing, she was offered the position, which she began while finishing her degree at Old Dominion University.  
A few months into the full-time role, Jordan says the combination of public education and recruitment is a great fit for her interests and skills. She especially enjoys working in public service. “We’re not here to sell anything. We are here purely for the community and for the City,” she said. 
Jordan, who is now recruiting for an intern position in ECCS, says the City’s internship program was an all-around great opportunity that she would quickly recommend to other college students. “These departments are doing this to mentor people, to build up students and mold their skills and experiences. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or ask for help,” she said. “And definitely go for it.” 

The City of Virginia Beach’s award-winning internship program is designed to provide students with an opportunity to apply knowledge from their field of study in a professional environment. Learn more about the program and check out current internship opportunities

Jordan Shirley Standing In Front of Brick Wall
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