This is the third in a series of articles describing Wright State student Spencer Brannon’s experiences as an intern for the Executive Office of the President at the White House.
For national security and various legal reasons, I can’t describe the work I do in much depth. In the OCIO, we are responsible for maintaining and upgrading all of the unclassified technology systems used in the EOP. The level of respect the staff have for interns is impossible to overstate. My work varies from the technical—participating in meetings to determine which technology systems to upgrade, what to replace them with, and when—to the financial—helping the end budget submissions for the office and drafting white papers for the contracting officers. (I have to give thanks to Wright State’s Model United Nations program for teaching me how to write the white papers.)
OCIO also maintains Presidential websites like WhiteHouse.gov and designs the systems that allow Americans to communicate directly with the White House—through email, conference calls, and other technologies—and maintains the White House Library. (I should note that the library, housed in EEOB, is one of the most spectacular rooms I’ve ever experienced. It is five floors tall with a gigantic atrium in the middle, all decorated and designed to flow with the Second French Imperial design of the building.)
So the office is a nerve-center, and a lot of the public faces of the White House rely on the systems that the OCIO creates and maintains. And while I am a millennial and a child of the nineties, working in an office dedicated to technology has helped me to understand: a) the amazing things that technology can do and just how much impact it can have on an office, and b) how very little I know about all of the state-of-the-art technologies being explored in the EOP.
This makes it exciting to work here even on the days when I don’t have the Vice President greet me from his motorcade limo. I go in every morning with an expectation that I’m going to learn something interesting, consequential, and useful—and I’m never disappointed. My work here has been an interesting, engaging, and deeply educational experience. I always look forward to coming to work the next day, and I look forward to sharing more about my work in the future.
Spencer Brannon is a senior political science and economics student at Wright State. A former student worker in the university’s Office of Communications and Marketing, Brannon also served as the chief of staff for Wright State’s Student Government. Brannon is the current chairman of the Ohio Student Government Association. He recently concluded internships in the Office of the Inspector General of the Small Business Administration and in the Executive Office of the President of the United States in Washington, D.C.