Cedric is a Navy vet who has converted his passion for music and radio into a promising career path. During his internship in D.C., he was able to combine those interests with skills from his service career to generate a promising outlook for his professional life.
In observation of Veterans Day, The Washington Center will honor our interns who have served in the military in addition to their academic pursuits, and celebrate our internship partners that host them. The Veterans Employment Trajectory (VET) Initiative helps student veterans - like Cedric Baggett - translate their unique blend of military and college skills into successful careers.
Could you introduce yourself? (Name, Military Branch and years served, what school you attended/ing and major)
My name is Cedric Baggett. I served in the United States Navy for seven years. I graduated from Plattsburgh State University in December 2017 with my Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies with a focus in Audio and Radio Production.
During your time as a student, what challenges did you face as a veteran trying to transition to civilian life?
The challenges I faced while a student were in trying to understand the minds of those younger than me and in encouraging them to avoid certain missteps that I took. I also found it a challenge to get other veterans to actually participate with those younger than themselves, to teach and impart their skills to help them.
What attracted you the most to the VET Initiative?
The opportunity to add an internship and work experience to my resume was appealing. But I was not expecting I would receive as much as I did from The Washington Center VET Initiative. It turned out better than I had initially expected by a multitude of degrees, and I am so glad it did.
Where did you intern and what did you enjoy most about your internship?
I interned at Voice of America (VOA), starting out in the Media Lab with some other great college students. Our daily duties were to take videos from trusted sources and create 60-second news videos for World, America and Africa VOA60. The most enjoyable portion of my internship was when I transitioned to the Music Library and began producing on air radio shows for VOA1.
In what ways did your internship contribute to your professional development?
My internship gave me a much stronger sense of purpose through career development and belonging for my future in radio. The great mentorship I received throughout the experience boosted my confidence in my personal brand and the bright outlook of my career.
What was the most impactful outcome from participating in the VET Initiative?
The most powerful outcome of my participation has been forming a support team with my veteran cohort at TWC. They have helped me even now and continue to support my goals as I support theirs as well.
Which skills were you able to translate from the military to your internship? On the flip side, how did this experience help you develop or discover new skills or competencies?
The skills I developed in the Navy translated into leadership and encouragement once I became a college student. I found that I can share my experiences with younger professionals to help each and every one of us get into a position where we all want to and are able to succeed. And in turn, interacting with them at my internship taught me how to be a great leader and to pursue bright shining futures for all of us.
Were you able to build or expand your professional network? If so, how?
I have grown my professional network with strong, like-minded people and we all encourage each other to stretch beyond the boundaries of our respective fields and help each other by staying connected and encouraging one another to achieve success at all levels of life.
How has the VET Initiative helped shape or impact your career goals?
TWC gave me the opportunity to meet and learn from so many great people during my time in D.C. My internship enabled me to learn more about my field and gave me a stronger sense of accomplishment in preparation for my future. The TWC experience taught me to have confidence in my ability to see myself as a leader throughout my career and that I am more than capable of doing anything thanks to my skills and communication that will help my team achieve greatness.
What advice would you give other student veterans who are considering applying to the VET initiative?
My advice to those looking to attend the VET Initiative is to do it, attend for the leadership and all that networking has to offer. Take in all the experience that you will receive from your respective internship activities that you participate in. It will give you the most fulfilling encouragement as long as you allow yourself to be open, to learn, so you can rise again in a different ranking system of society.
The VET Initiative offers student veterans a path to demonstrate the skills and experience acquired from their service and make significant contributions to the civilian world. If you’re a student veteran looking to transition to the civilian professional world, find out more about the VET Initiative.