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Michael Valenti - Public Relations Intern

Michael Valenti - Public Relations Intern
Michael Valenti - Public Relations Intern

Future plans: Teaching English in South East or East Asia. Coming back to DC to work in communications or public relations. Get a masters degree in marketing and strategic communications.

I heard about VOA through some of my classes at American University, where I am a literature and political science major, and have been aware of the mission for some time. Coincidentally, a close friend and AU classmate, Zayne Patel, was an intern here in the PR office last summer in 2018 and told me many stories about his experiences in the office. Zayne shared with me descriptions of the many interesting events he was attending and the people that he was meeting while here and then suggested that I apply for a VOA internship the following summer. My previous internships and my focus has been on public relations and the world of strategic communications, something that I was able to really focus on with the important and lasting work that I completed here at VOA.

My work during my internship in the PR office consisted of aiding in the auditing and rebranding campaign in the main offices and across the world in the different bureaus, drafting copy and outreach emails for VOA materials and content, including the 2021 and 2022 audience calendars, as well as researching individuals and organizations who contacted VOA employees and the PR office and leading an outreach effort to generate new tour visitors from the academic community. On top of this, I fully participated and contributed to weekly meetings with the PR team and served as a regular studio tour guide. These activitiesallowed me to interact with a wide variety of people, including the VOA Director, the Peace Corps Director, government and organization leaders, and the hundreds of daily tour visitors to the building.

The chance to have this internship has opened my eyes to what I want my future to look like, both in the short term and long term. I understand now what a good internship is and what it feels like to be a part of a team and larger organization. The work that I completed here in the PR offices have been important and have made a genuine impact on Voice of America - something that not many interns can honestly say. I was encouraged to attend classes and events that could have only been discovered through VOA and I am truly thankful for all the opportunities made available to me through this internship.

With this experience under my belt, I know now that I wish to pursue the field of communications and public relations further, as well as expand into marketing, journalism, and working on broadcast television. I know that the connections and opportunities I’ve had here at Voice of America will allow me to excel in this pursuit to find similar work in which I am truly interested and can make a long lasting impact.