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
Future Degree: Masters in Business