From entrepreneur to intrapreneur: Innovating in the corporate world

I had two substantial goals for the summer of 2016. The first was ensuring that my non-profit, Healthy Girls Save the World (HGSW), had enough resources to take advantage of being invited to The White House. My second goal was to have a great internship experience with Booz Allen Hamilton and to continue to enhance my professional skills while making an impact on the firm so that I would “get the offer!”

In June 2016, we held a week-long HGSW Summer Experience hosted at the UNC Genome Science Building. During that week, our camp participants took a charter bus to Washington, D.C. to visit The White House, where and they toured the East Wing and met two White House staffers: Kelly Miterko, deputy director of the Let’s Move campaign, and Kayla Daniels, special assistant to the White House Social Secretary. Our girls relished the opportunity as they learned about how the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign was developed and got a chance to walk the halls of her stomping grounds. We were really excited to have the opportunity, and it is something that our participants will never forget.

This was the very first summer that HGSW held the Summer Experience without my physical presence. While I felt very nostalgic about my absence, I knew that I wanted to pursue my internship offer with Booz Allen Hamilton.

The firm changed their internship model into a competition-based format known as Booz Allen Hamilton’s Summer Games Challenge. Students are placed on teams and are tasked with solving a sizable challenge that may help millions of people. During the last week of the Challenge, students complete a “Shark Tank” -style pitch in front of Booz Allen leadership, and one team is selected as the Summer Games winner.

I was a member of the Real Time Corrosion Control Monitoring for Drinking Water project team. We used innovative technology to develop new solutions involving instant detection and real-time reporting for water contamination. We developed a device that will help detect lead particles in drinking water, alert users if the water is unsafe to drink and inform relevant third parties about lead concentrations that are above the action level. The device captures data in real time, is inexpensive and is easily transferable to other geographies that are impacted by drinking water contamination. Our goal was to help the city of Flint, Michigan, but we hope the device is adopted nationwide so future generations can be assured that their water is safe. The final deliverables for our project were our 3-D print, Raspberry Pi/Breadboard, CAD models, business plan and pitch deck.

Additionally, I was able to complete my summer seminars with Management Leadership for Tomorrow’s MBA Prep Program. I attended three-day seminars at several schools and had a great time meeting admissions officers, telling them my story and learning more about their programs. I look forward to applying in the near future.

Fortunately, Booz Allen offered me a job to join the firm as a management consultant. I am very glad, grateful and humbled to have this opportunity. The offer is contingent upon my graduation from my MPH program in May 2017, but it is nice to know that I won’t have to worry about the stress of finding a job during the school year and can focus that energy towards continuing to build HGSW.

As an Adams Apprentice, I strongly believe that the program has helped me to gain the networking skills, confidence and strategic ability to effectively tell my story and make the appropriate professional connections to propel my career. I am grateful to the Adams Apprenticeship program for allowing me to serve as an apprentice. The experiences that I have been afforded through the program have added to my success tremendously.

By Camille McGirt (MPH ’17), founder of Healthy Girls Save the World and member of the 2016 Adams Apprenticeship cohort