USMA Cadets Thomas “TJ” Bordeaux and Christian “CJ” Falk, the newest interns at Exchange headquarters, learned a lot about the organization.
“I never realized the complexity of working with a DoD entity that’s also one of the world’s largest retailers,” Bordeaux said.
The rising juniors were at headquarters in Dallas to complete an Advanced Individual Academic Development—USMA’s term for an internship—in cybersecurity as part of their graduation requirements.
It was the Exchange’s first time partnering with USMA to host internships. The two cadets spent three weeks working on cybersecurity projects with IT: Falk worked on a forensic investigation project and Bordeaux focused on advanced threat detection.
The cadets also got a chance to sit down with Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull, a USMA graduate, to catch up on West Point news, discuss the different ways the Exchange serves troops—and talk sports.
“I got beat up for being both a Red Sox and Patriots fan,” Bordeaux said with a smile.
Shull and Exchange leaders see the mutual benefits in hosting Cadets.
“Having TJ and CJ here with us this summer was truly special—they are exceptional Cadets,” Shull said. “It was a privilege to partner with West Point for the first time on this program to help the Nation’s future military leaders broaden their knowledge in their field of study and remind them the Exchange is there for them throughout their military career.”
Bordeaux and Falk see their knowledge of the Exchange paying off down the road when they move into leadership positions.
“When we get to our first unit and are commanding Soldiers, we can help them understand what the Exchange is there for—how it’ll be there when they deploy, how it supports after-school programs and school lunches overseas,” Bordeaux said. “It’s a lot more than a retail outlet.”
“Not everyone understands their benefits,” Falk said. “It’s awesome to see all that the Exchange is doing to help Soldiers out.”