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Hayley Fleming

Hayley Fleming

When I first began my internship, I knew very little about Voice of America. I had no idea how large the organization was, and I had no idea how important VOA was to people in other countries. But when I walked into the building on my first day of work and immediately heard people talking in languages I had never even heard of, I knew that this summer would be a life-changing experience for me. My family has lived in the United States for many generations, so I have no first-hand knowledge of the struggles that people face in other parts of the world when it comes to access to accurate news. It is hard for me to imagine a life in which I cannot trust my news sources, but working at VOA has certainly opened my eyes to the importance of free press.

This internship not only gave me a new, worldly perspective, but it also taught me so many important workplace skills. I greatly improved my communication skills through various projects, including creating social media content and writing articles for our Public Relations website. My favorite projects this summer were planning events. I was able to help organize and facilitate the launch event of the VOA Women’s Caucus, allowing me to improve my event-planning skills while meeting many inspirational women who reminded me that women are capable of anything we set our minds to.

I am particularly grateful for all of the helpful relationships I made during my time here. Everyone on the Public Relations team was there to help me and to make sure that my experience was fulfilling. I owe so many thanks to Michelle, our wonderful intern coordinator, Bridget, the amazing head of the Public Relations team, Anna, George, Kevin, Nigel, and my fellow interns, Yassmin and Zayne. Without them, my experience at VOA would not have been nearly as rewarding. Wherever I end up working in the future, I will always remember this summer as a powerful and transformative experience.