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Wednesday 17 January 2018

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During my participation in the fall 2017 University of California D.C. Program, I had the privilege of interning for Voice of America’s Public Relations department. Although this was not my first internship experience, it was surely one of my most unique and special ones to remember. From the moment I walked into the Cohen Building and observed my surroundings, I felt very lucky to be here. Never had I imagined the diversity, nationalities, and languages within this building.

Being an English language learner and struggling with writing and grammar since grade school, I knew participating in the PR internship at VOA was going to be my biggest challenge. However, with the guidance and support of the PR team, I was able to successfully write a few news articles for the Inside VOA website. In addition, I had the opportunity to attend executive morning meetings with all of the language division directors and execute important projects for the PR department.

One of my favorite parts about this internship was interacting with visitors and guests while conducting the VOA daily tours. I was able to share VOA’s story while guiding everyone through VOA’s radio and broadcasting studios. Another great part about this internship is being able to present creative ideas and projects that you believe will help VOA. One of my projects was to increase the VOA tours by promoting it across many online platforms including: visitor centers, journalism schools, and travel websites. I loved sharing my experiences with other students in my UCDC program. Although most of them interned at great places like the Hill, other federal government agencies, and non-profits, they all seemed to do basic tasks or have bad experiences. But after sharing the many unique things I got to do and experience at my internship at VOA, they all seemed to be shocked with excitement.

Working directly with VOA’s PR department, I had the opportunity to get to know a few of the PR officers, learn about their career experiences and receive positive feedback on how I can improve as a professional in the workplace. I definitely recommend interning at VOA’s PR department because they will provide you all the necessary tools and support to develop and flourish. If you want a hands-on, challenging, and productive internship in the world of international radio and broadcasting, take on this unique challenge. I dare you.

By: Jesus Omar Rodriguez

University of California Irvine

Major: Political Science

Minor: Communications

Future Degree: Masters in Business

Being in the Public Relations office has provided me with the opportunity to apply what I have learned in the classroom, a chance to be in an encouraging environment, and to be introduced to a culturally diverse organization. During my time at Voice of America, I have generated content for the website, assisted in managing social media accounts, helped with events and even met popstar Akon along the way! One of the most exciting parts of working at VOA is that there is something always going on and influential people coming from all around the globe to visit. It amazes me how much of an impact VOA has and the number of people that tune in worldwide each week. Working here has been a wonderful experience that has furthered my interest in the communications field. I have truly enjoyed being around people in the office that have been a part of VOA for years and shared their career experiences with me. I would definitely an internship at Voice of America not only because of positive experiences that I have had, but also because of all of the opportunities to learn and gain new skills that are transferrable in any career path you may choose.

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