Visible Spectrum is a series to spotlight talented and dedicated women employees across the Lab. Since 2011, Nakeiah Harrell has been with Workforce Development & Education (WD&E) providing administrative support for the internship programs. Nakeiah’s role has been described to be absolutely crucial to the programs. One colleague notes: “These programs would not be possible without her, and they wouldn’t be as successful as they are. She is the glue that keeps our programs up and running all year long.”
Nakeiah also loves to spend time with her family and planning events like parties, BBQs, and family trips. She also enjoys cooking, attending comedy shows and concerts, and reading books in her spare time.
What inspired you to work at Berkeley Lab?
I am a Berkeley native, and I have a family friend who previously worked for Berkeley Lab. She always shared how the Lab is a great place to work with good benefits. When I came across an open position in the Workforce Development & Education Department, I researched the department’s goals and how I would be able to contribute. I was very eager to apply, and thankfully, I got the job!
What have you been most proud of in your work?
I am the Internship Program Assistant in the Workforce Development & Education Department here at the Lab. What excites me most about my work is creating processes, which then shape our programs and promote successful internships. For example, I am the central record keeper for those who apply for programs, those who are ultimately selected, and then work with them to arrange travel, stipends, and HR-related processing as needed.
I am most proud of the times I have received stretch opportunities and receiving positive feedback from my peers and management. It is always a joy to receive feedback about how I have made an intern’s experience a great one.
Do you have tips you’d recommend for someone looking to enter and/or succeed in your field of work?
Mentorship is crucial. My recommendation would be to build mentor/mentee relationships with at least three individuals who can help guide you to the career goals you would like to achieve. All three of them will contribute something different, but it is up to you to apply yourself and reach for your goals.
How can our community engage more underrepresented groups in STEM?
We can engage more women, girls, and other underrepresented groups by reaching out to those audience groups and educating them on the opportunities available to them directly. I attended two conferences last year as an exhibitor, where I met several students from diverse backgrounds. Most of them had not been aware of the paid internship opportunities until they attended these events. Outreach is so important, and the best way to reach these groups and share information with them to ultimately change their lives.