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Student Reflection: Life as a Federal Reserve Bank Intern

JCSU student Daniel Rocha Herrera spent his summer as an intern with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Herrera, a computer engineering major, secured the opportunity after Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond visited campus to find out why students chose to attend Johnson C. Smith University and why Innovo Scholars and Supporters participated in the program. Daniel reflects on his experience and shared it with Smith Institute.

Daniel Rocha Herrera's summer internship at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond was a positive experience.

Daniel Rocha Herrera’s summer internship at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond was a positive experience. Photo: Dineo L. Seakamela

I had the awesome opportunity to intern with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond this summer, exercising greatly, the knowledge and skills I have learned through my computer engineering courses. I worked under the Federal Reserve Information & Technology (FRIT) department and I was brought in to help with the creation and migration of a knowledge database for the Customer Service Center (CSC) in the FRIT department.To accomplish this, different branches of FRIT were reached out to and that gave me an opportunity to work with people from Kansas City and Dallas on a constant basis.

For the first part of my assigned project, I had to go through training for safety, information security, learning the verbiage and reading technical documents pertaining to the different systems in place. For the second part of the project, I went through a lot of testing to adjust me to the new knowledge database. This took some time as everyone in the group had to familiarize themselves with the product and report any errors. For the final part of the project, the database was implemented and the migration of articles was made. Different documents, procedures, and checklists were transferred from a server to this new knowledge database. My task overall in this project was to help lead other members. Because everyone else was already involved in other tasks, it was up to me to adjust to this new tool that was being implemented, report any issues, and to assure that everyone could familiarize themselves with the product. I essentially had to be an expert in the matter.

Even though the skills I developed while working at the Federal Reserve Bank vary, I was particularly able to enhance both my technical and soft skills. My technical skills were improved by familiarizing myself with HTML and understanding better, technical systems through readings of different technical documents. I was able to enhance my soft skills by going to workshops, networking, and talking to different people at the Federal Reserve Bank.

Different workshops set up for interns helped me to improve my resume, add new hobbies that would help me stand out and to understand that performance, image, and exposure are a key component to success in corporate America. During my time in the Federal Reserve Bank, the network of people that I developed helped me grow as an individual. There were people that guided me in  different direction and people who showed me how I could improve. Talking to people within my department was also beneficial as they shared with me,  the different ways that I could get a step ahead of everyone else. My manager did well in this, teaching me how to become a better leader.

Overall, the skills I acquired at the Federal Reserve Bank are many and each one important. My internship this summer has left me with a lasting impact, because when I began my journey there I was not too sure what to expect. Now, I feel as though the experience has changed me and has left an impression on me. I discovered that I enjoy working in an office and that I like to work both with the technical skills as well as a leader of a team. I am happy that I was able to adjust well to my environment and learned what it means to work in corporate America. I also got a taste of what I have to expect post-graduation should I choose to go to work. Living on my own, paying for bills, being in a new area, and being a part of something BIG has helped me mature, become more self-reliant and appreciative of the finer things in life.

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