Power of Professional Development in the D.C. Professional Preparation Program 

Desktop News | October 2023

Joely Goss
Joely Goss

Joely Goss’s journey is a testament to the life-changing experience of the Washington D.C. Professional Preparation Program, particularly its pivotal component: professional development. Her story demonstrates how the program’s strong focus on refining professional skills propelled her toward a thriving career. 

During this summer, Goss embarked on a remarkable internship at the CKH Group, a prominent global consulting firm headquartered in Atlanta, GA. While CKH Group primarily specializes in accounting and tax services, it was also venturing into the field of environmental and sustainability consulting, an area experiencing surging demand. Having already established a presence in environmental consulting in Europe, CKH Group set its sights on entering the North American market, and Goss became their secret weapon. As the Environmental, Social and Governance Legal (ESG) Research Intern, she was tasked with building a comprehensive knowledge base of new American and Canadian legislation, an essential contribution to CKH Group’s North American environmental consulting endeavors. 

Throughout her time at CKH Group, Goss’s professionalism and performance garnered admiration from senior staff members. Her deliverables and presentation skills were consistently top-notch, earning her the respect and recognition of her colleagues and superiors. The Washington D.C. Professional Preparation Program’s emphasis on professional development had transformed her into a shining ambassador not only for The University of Alabama but for the program itself. 

What makes Goss’s journey even more extraordinary is that it did not conclude with the conclusion of her summer internship; instead, it marked just the beginning. Her outstanding performance in Atlanta resulted in a contract extension, allowing her to continue working part-time with CKH Group for the remainder of the year. 

Goss’s profound gratitude for her remarkable journey extends to the Washington D.C. Professional Preparation Program, an instrumental force in her success. She enthusiastically remarked, “My main goals for the DC trip were to practice my networking skills and explore career opportunities as an environmental science major. I was so excited for this opportunity, and it did not disappoint.” 

The program’s professional development component was an absolute game-changer. The knowledge she acquired leading up to and during the D.C. trip, complemented by the unwavering support and guidance she received from mentors like Pam Derrick, Director of Experiential Learning, and Appie Millsaps, UA Career Center mentor, during training sessions, facilitated her transition into the professional office environment with ease. 

Joely Goss and other program participates sitting at a table.

“I am so thankful for Mrs. Pam, Mrs. Appie, and the DC Professional Development Program. One of the biggest issues I faced before was a lack of confidence and a sense of belonging in professional spaces. I was able to use this program as a launching pad, and I hope that more students will get the same experience in the future,” said Goss. 

Goss’s journey powerfully emphasizes the impact of the Washington D.C. Professional Preparation Program on her career trajectory. It was the program’s investment in her professional development that propelled her to excel in the fiercely competitive realm of consulting. The mentorship, training and support she received paved the path to her success, enabling her to confidently overcome her internal apprehensions and showcase her capabilities. 

For additional details about the Washington D.C. Professional Preparation Program, visit https://bit.ly/425dy0J. To read additional student stories, visit https://bit.ly/3rZyRnO.