This summer was probably the most productive summer I’ve ever had. Most summers I work and spend time with family and friends (which is always a great thing to do during breaks), but this summer I decided to sacrifice my leisure time and head to Washington D.C. for two months.
I’m a Finance and Political Science major, but I have a HUGE interest in media and international issues, so I wanted to see what life would be like to work as a journalist. I ended up interning for Voice of America, which is the international broadcaster of the United States government. I even received six internship credits from the Political Science department to count towards my degree! Even though I know now that journalism isn’t the right career for me, this internship gave me amazing experience and should me how media and diplomacy can be used effectively.
It was amazing to work for Voice of America. Historically, Voice of America was a radio service that provided radio news programs in different languages throughout the world. Today, they have expanded to include 44 languages, broadcast news shows, website articles, and have even delved into the social media craze. I interned for the Middle East Hub, so I covered news related to the Middle East.
The Voice of America office is the most fast paced environment I’ve been in. VOA reporters cover news stories from every part of the world, so there were no boring moments during my internship. I would come to the office after my 40 minute Metro commute and head right to work. We had a radio show everyday at 1 p.m., and in addition to that, my editor put me in charge of the social media campaign. Our big news stories during the summer were the Arab Spring uprisings, and so everyday I would filter through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media pages to find videos or reports on uprisings in Syria and Bahrain. I also covered news related to Yemen, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and Palestine.
The best thing about being a journalist for Voice of America was getting a hold of that “press pass.” Every day in Washington D.C. – especially during the summertime – there’s always a panel, conference, or some event happening in the city. My editor would let me cover these events (the ones related to Middle East issues of course) and I would just flash my press pass and be allowed to listen in on these panels and speak to important people. It was such a great experience to listen to speakers like Bill Clinton, Patrick Meier, and talk to several ambassadors and diplomats. I even met a famous Arab comedian, Ahmed Ahmed! It was a great time. The Metro Life experience was by far the most fun experience I’ve had. I explored the whole city and took advantage of going to all the events and meeting everyone I could. I would recommend this experience to any Husky!