My fortnight with the Coast Guard

Hannah Sample, a senior at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, poses for a photo with the Coast Guard 9th District public affairs department staff at their office in downtown Cleveland, May 20, 2015.  Sample was shadowing the staff for two weeks as part of a school project.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brittany Joseph

Hannah Sample, a senior at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, poses for a photo with the Coast Guard 9th District public affairs department staff at their office in downtown Cleveland, May 20, 2015.
Sample was shadowing the staff for two weeks as part of a school project.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brittany Joseph

Written by Hannah Sample

I am a senior at St. Vincent – St. Mary High School located in Akron, Ohio. Being a senior in high school can be stressful because planning for the future and making life-changing decisions is difficult. However, through numerous discussions with my family over the past several years, I was introduced to the idea of joining the Coast Guard.

After researching the Coast Guard, I decided to contact a recruiter. During our first meeting he gave me a list of jobs and career paths the Coast Guard offers. After two years of deliberation, I decided that if I enlist with the Coast Guard I want to pursue a career in public affairs. I chose this path because I am interested in media and communications.

Hannah Sample, a senior at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, takes a moment to pose for a photo while researching information on National Safe Boating Week as part of a school project shadowing the Coast Guard 9th District public affairs department staff at their office in downtown Cleveland, May 20, 2015.  Sample was shadowing the staff for two weeks as part of the school project.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Cox

Hannah Sample, a senior at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, takes a moment to pose for a photo while researching information on National Safe Boating Week as part of a school project shadowing the Coast Guard 9th District public affairs department staff at their office in downtown Cleveland, May 20, 2015.
Sample was shadowing the staff for two weeks as part of the school project.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Cox

At the beginning of the school year, my class was told that we would be completing a Senior Capstone Experience Project in the last weeks before graduation. During this project, we participate in a two-week internship in the career field we’d like to pursue.

I took this opportunity to shadow a Coast Guard public affairs specialist in Cleveland.

During my initial communication with the public affairs specialists, I was very excited, yet nervous. I didn’t know what to expect when entering their office.

During my first day, they were very welcoming and explained the many jobs a public affairs specialist must complete.

I was fortunate to be a part of an all-hands meeting and a daily brief meeting with the Coast Guard 9th District commander and his senior staff.

I was given a tour of the other departments and got to meet Coast Guardsmen of all ratings, which gave me insight into what the Coast Guard missions are. Some core missions of certain departments in the Coast Guard are: Health Services to aid the Coast Guardsmen when needed, Response Units to simply respond to an emergency and Investigation Services when reports are made.

After a few days, the public affairs specialist started tasking me with work. I had to conduct research for National Safe Boating Week information, schedule social media posts and publish safe boating information.

My fortnight with the Coast Guard has had a positive impact on my career making decision. It has given me a lot to consider and look forward to.

Maybe, in the next few years, you’ll see me in uniform!

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