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NR 2013-121
Contact: Stephanie Collins
(202) 649-6870

OCC Provides Summer Experience to Minority and Women Interns

WASHINGTON — More than 20 minority students from across the country are finishing summer internships this month at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) as part of the agency’s National Diversity Internship Program (NDIP).

The NDIP, established in 2011, provides professional work experience to minority and women undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in a four-year accredited college or university.

“This is a new generation of American leaders, and they are truly exceptional people,” Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry said.  “One of the greatest things about this program is that it brings a diverse group of highly talented people into the OCC for an experience that may inspire them to make a career of public service.  The enthusiasm, energy, and idealism they bring to the job are qualities that we prize at the OCC.”

Lasting 10 weeks, the program connects interns with mentors in departments throughout the agency, in a variety of career fields from legal to compliance to public affairs.  The program allows interns to interact with personnel at all levels of the agency including Senior Deputy Comptrollers and the Chief Counsel.  Through their work at the agency, interns learn about regulating the banking industry while they develop practical skills, which can be applied throughout their professional lives.  Following the completion of the program, some interns have the opportunity to gain permanent positions at the OCC.

Interns agree that the NDIP has a tremendous influence on their growth.  “Being a part of a productive team that provides continuous learning and growth opportunities in this organization makes the hard work worth it,” said Patricia Acosta, an intern for the Office of External Outreach and Minority Affairs (EOMA) from the University of Texas at El Paso.  Her experience at the OCC allowed her to apply her academic interest in communication and public relations in meaningful ways while gaining valuable experience in those fields.

While designed to provide unique opportunities to interns, the program benefits the agency as well.

“The OCC has benefitted tremendously from the National Diversity Internship Program,” Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief of Staff Paul M. Nash said.  “Interns from this program have provided our agency with innovative ideas and a fresh perspective on the world around them.  We look forward to their future contributions.”

Bringing valuable skills and energy, NDIP interns have made direct contributions to the agency mission of ensuring banks operate in a safe and sound manner and treat consumer fairly during their participation in the program.

“The National Diversity Internship Program provided the Litigation Division with a law student whose training allowed her to make an immediate contribution to the division’s work by conducting legal research to support the work of staff attorneys,” explained Director for Litigation Horace G. Sneed. “The ability to augment our staff through the NDIP program, helped the division provide timely and effective legal representation for the OCC.”

The OCC’s EOMA office within the Public Affairs Department manages the program and coordinates its implementation in collaboration with the agency’s Office of Women and Minority Inclusion.  Interns for the program are recruited from INROADS, the Washington Internships for Native American Students, and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, which are national organizations that promote diversity and leadership opportunities for minority youth throughout the country.

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