Birthday celebrations, cupcake deliveries, and a table of delicious goodies are all common occurrences in the public relations office. The office I work in is the destination of many VOA employees due to our generous hospitality and, of course, our treats.
Although the treats are absolutely delicious, there is a hard-working atmosphere in the office. Being a part of the public relations team means dealing with all of the language services, any issues that arise when dealing with the media, and updating the Inside VOA website and social media pages.
The main project that I worked on while in the public relations office was not as mainstream as one would expect of a public relations intern. While I did perform the tasks of posting on Facebook and Twitter, my main project has been revamping the Inside VOA History webpage. At first the assignment was a bit daunting. Researching the entire history of VOA in just a few months?!? The task seemed almost impossible. However, with the help of many books, pamphlets, and VOA historian Alan Heil, I was able to complete an initial draft of the history of VOA in a timeline form.
Now comes the task of editing, a job not for an individual. An army of editors, mainly the PR office, will take the project and polish it into a VOA timeline, one for the records. Once edited, the history of VOA project will be formatted into a high-tech software that will change the Inside VOA history webpage forever (you should really check out the current history page and you will know what I mean).
All hard work comes with a little play. While on the job I have met countless bands and musicians through Larry London on Border Crossings. I have also had the opportunity to practice my Arabic with visiting Afghan Diplomats. Even celebrities have made special appearances in the public relations office! For all you homeland fans out there, I had the privilege of meeting Navid Negahban (Abu Nazir), who is a very charismatic man. Interning at VOA is not complete without a special visit to the rooftop. I was fortunate enough to witness the inaugural broadcast from the new rooftop studio. There is nothing like the view of DC from the top of the VOA building. It is safe to say that my time at VOA has been one for the books.