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  • socdeansintern 10:31 am on August 7, 2019 Permalink  

    From the Senate stakeout Subway to Hallway Walk-and-Talks 

    By Dean’s Intern James Marshall at The Durango Herald

    James Marshall interviews Rep Scott Tipton

    James Marshall, right, interviews Rep. Scott Tipton, who represents the Western Slope of Colorado in Congress.

    I raced into the hallway after a contentious markup in the House Natural Resources Committee. I needed to track down Rep. Joe Neguse, whose enormous Colorado wilderness bill had just been approved by the committee in a vote along party lines. I found the Colorado Democrat walking hastily, as he was late for another vote.

    He agreed to walk and talk after I told him I was with The Durango Herald. I nearly ran out of breath as we descended three flights of stairs and made a pit stop in his office while we talked about public lands in Colorado. By the time we finished the interview I found myself lost in a basement hallway between somewhere between the Capitol and a House office building.

    Part of reporting on Capitol Hill is simply knowing when and where lawmakers are going to be. Whether it’s in the hallway after a committee hearing or at the Senate “stakeout subway” after senators vote on the floor, getting face time with sources can make all the difference in a story.

    The Herald has allowed me to cover different types of stores: from breaking news to enterprise pieces. There was the time a senator from New Mexico’s candid hallway comments about a utility cooperative in Durango led me to taking an in-depth look at the co-op’s less-than-green track record. There was my breaking news coverage of the Bureau of Land Management’s move to Grand Junction, Colorado. And there is the ongoing saga of Colorado wilderness legislation.

    With my remaining time at the Herald, I’ll shift my focus from Congress to the 2020 elections. It’s been a tremendous opportunity to hone my political reporting skills and develop my newer interests such as data and environmental reporting.


  • socdeansintern 10:28 am on August 7, 2019 Permalink  

    A Free Press Matters 

    By Dean’s Intern Grace George at Voice of America

    Grace GeorgeThe slogan at Voice of America is “A Free Press Matters.” My time as a VOA intern showed me the meaning of this phrase, and the organization’s commitment to it.

    As an intern in the documentary unit at VOA I conduct research for a project on press freedom in Turkey, a country where holding the government accountable can land you prison time. I help my supervisors learn more about the history of press freedom in Turkey, I pull video from AP, AFP, and Reuters for the project, and I help with research for future projects. Not only has this opportunity allowed me to witness the work of seasoned journalists while sharpening my own skills, but it has also furthered my passion and understanding for the importance of a free press.

    This internship has widened my range of interests and introduced me to a new medium. Working with documentary is an amazing challenge that every journalism student should experience. It requires a strength of knowledge on your topic and the perseverance to find any and every way to work out your story.

    With only a few weeks left at VOA, I’m going to miss witnessing the inner workings of a successful and committed news organization every time I step into this building. Its halls are plastered with the organization’s rich history and swimming with over 40 languages. Just walking through them can make anyone want to be a part of the work they do here.

  • socdeansintern 3:36 pm on May 3, 2019 Permalink  

    A Whirlwind of Deadlines and Tunnels on the Hill 

    By Dean’s Intern Liz Weber at the Durango Herald

    Liz WeberI shifted my weight, trying to ease the blisters forming against my brand new flats. The glare of camera lights and the barely-contained energy of a press line only served to highlight my discomfort. It was my third week as the Colorado congressional reporter for The Durango Herald. And I was covering the State of the Union.

    I had 30 minutes until my deadline. Two more interviews to conduct and I, along with a few dozen of the country’s top reporters, were waiting for the senators and representatives to exit the hall. And I couldn’t quite shake the fear that I forgot what the Colorado senator looked like.

    Until there he was, rounding the corner with his communications director behind him. I stepped forward. He agreed to a brief walk-and-talk interview as we weaved through the crowd of other reporters.

    My time as a Dean’s Intern for the small newspaper felt like this a lot of the time. A whirlwind of tight deadlines and getting lost in the maze of hallways and tunnels. The highs of learning on the fly and pressing through the uncertainty to secure the needed-interview. The honor of being one of the only reporters on the Hill representing the concerns of southwest Colorado.

    There were stories of lost funding during the government shutdown, analyzing environmental voting records for a reelection campaign, a retrospective on a governor’s first month in office and the possibility of a 2020 presidential bid in the face of a cancer diagnosis.

    With only a few more weeks left, I still get lost in the maze of connected tunnels beneath the Capitol. But I’ve tossed out the uncomfortable flats in favor of an old pair of boots. I can do a walk-and-talk interview with the best of them now.

  • socdeansintern 10:39 am on April 30, 2019 Permalink  

    Delivering Africa’s News at Voice of America 

    By Dean’s Intern Taameen Mohammad at Voice of America

    Taameen in group shot at VOAHow do you convey news from Washington, D.C. to a continent of over 1.2 billion people? I can say it takes a lot more than throwing a white British man to a safari. Since January, I’ve gotten a hands-on approach on what happens behind the scenes of Voice of America’s English TV to Africa department. As an intern, I’ve worked with a lot of talented producers and reporters in charge of different broadcast programs from talk shows to news shows covering all of the continent. I usually start the day working on the daily news show Africa 54 which covers all the current events and trends. I’ll run teleprompter, cut b-roll, hand scripts, and I’ve even made my own packages that have aired on the show. When Africa 54 has wrapped up, my co-interns and I will cut the segments and post on Youtube. We’ll quickly get ready for the talk shows like Straight Talk Africa, which has over 1 million Facebook followers. Straight Talk Africa is a political talk show that gathers reporters from across Africa and analysts who share their insights on what’s emerging from the continent. My work behind the scenes includes gathering social media comments, cutting segments from the show, escorting guests down to Straight Talk Africa, and running teleprompter. Though the responsibilities never leave you bored, the opportunity to explore the nuances of African issues is such an important one I’ve taken advantage of.

    What this internship has really driven home for me is that no country or continent is ever inseparable from its past. This was especially true for my package on an event in IA & A at Hillyear in downtown D.C. where they hosted two South African female poets and two D.C. area female poets. The event was to commemorate South Africa’s Freedom Day, the day black South Africans were granted the right to vote in post-Apartheid elections. These South African poets were not only part of the youth, but part of the born free generation born after Apartheid. Hearing how their lives as youth have been shaped by the past and have influenced their expectations of a free world was incredibly insightful to how South Africa lives post-Apartheid. My internship at English TV to Africa in VOA really gave me an inside look at broadcast journalism and foreign correspondence, reaffirming my commitment to both fields.

  • socdeansintern 11:39 am on April 29, 2019 Permalink  

    Creating Commercials for NBC 

    By Dean’s Intern Melany Rochester at NBC4

    Melany RochesterInterning at NBC4 has been an incredible opportunity. Not only have I gotten to learn about the ins and outs of local and national news, but I have also been able to create promotional and marketing content for the seventh largest TV market with a reach of about 4.9 million people. Throughout the internship, I have learned a great deal about Nielsen ratings and how to measure the success and engagement of local and national news channel. Working for the incredible and award-winning NBCUniversal brand has been a dream come true, and has opened doors for my future career.

    While I do a variety of work at NBC4, one of my favorite aspects of the internship is the fact that I am just treated as another member for the Promotions and Marketing Team rather than just an intern. I have been asked to lead projects and have been able to pitch ideas for promotion and marketing strategies. One of my biggest responsibilities is managing the promotion closet and swap for NBC4 events and visitors. I have also been able to work extensively with two brands, NBC4 and Telemundo, and have been able to learn about the benefits and challenges that come with dual branding.

    Some of my favorite days at NBC4 are the days I get to work on commercial or promotional shoots. Since I am in the office 3 out of 5 days a week, I have been able to serve as a Production Assistant for almost all of the major shoots that have happened during the past four months at NBC4 and Telemundo 44. In Early March, we have a really important, all-day weather promotional shoot for both commercial spots, video promotion, and photo advertisements. We start prepping for the shoot three weeks in advance and tried several different lighting techniques and test shots before the actual day. On the day of the shoot, I served as the Script Supervisor for the shoot and logged all the shots and managed the talent. It was an amazing learning opportunity, and taught me how to properly light and set-up a commercial and
    promotional shoot.

    I also have been able to take part in field commercial shoots all around DC. For Black History Month and for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I assisted one of the video producers in creating commercials for Donate Life, the organ donation nonprofit in D.C. We traveled downtown to film in front of the monuments and even got to film during the Cherry Blossom Festival. With Telemundo, I was able to follow two producers to Silver Spring to serve as a Production Assistant for a commercial shoot with an attorney.

    This internship has been an amazing experience and I have been able to learn so much about the news industry, television ratings, and the importance of good promotion and marketing. Being able to work at an amazing company like NBC has been the job of a lifetime, and I am so glad have gotten this opportunity. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

  • socdeansintern 2:07 pm on April 11, 2019 Permalink  

    Expanding My Skill Set at APCO Worldwide 

    By Dean’s Intern Grace Strong at APCO Worldwide

    Grace StrongOver the past semester, I have had the unique privilege to work at a women-led global communication consultancy firm. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my college career.

    Working in the Office of the Executive Chairman, I have had the opportunity to touch many projects and to expand my skill set into practice areas I would not of had exposure to anywhere else. One of my favorite parts of this position would be working for Ambassador Roemer, the former Ambassador to India. Through this, I have gained extensive knowledge and insight into India, and that is something I would not have learned in my academic course of study.

    Though this intern program, another amazing aspect to it would be its strong emphasis on women’s empowerment. As a young woman in the workforce, it is refreshing and enlightening to see the inner-workings of an organization that truly supports me and its female employees. Furthermore, APCO actively promotes women’s advancement initiatives in many different countries and has provided interns with an empowering path to success. As someone who is extremely passionate about women in the workforce, I have truly learned from the leadership at this company the value women add to companies, clients and the workforce.

    The intern program itself is one that can only be described as supportive. Through weekly check-ins with intern coordinators, team meetings and scheduled lunch & learns with top leadership executives, I have felt supported in my growth and trajectory.

    Working as a Dean’s Intern truly has been the highlight of my college experience, and I cannot recommend it enough to students in SOC. Not only has my depth of knowledge expanded, but I have found and developed a professional confidence that I did not know was achievable at a college level. I am excited to continue the semester working with APCO Worldwide, and am beyond thankful to the SOC Dean’s Internship Program for providing me with this opportunity.

  • socdeansintern 2:02 pm on April 11, 2019 Permalink  

    Learning Entertainment Production At Smithsonian Channel 

    By Dean’s Intern Bryan White at Smithsonian Channel

    Bryan WhiteA productive work environment starts with a team that not only believes in your abilities, but allows you to foster your skillset through hands-on experience. The time I’ve spent with the Smithsonian Channel, a joint venture between Showtime and the Smithsonian Institute, has allowed me to further conceptualize the future of non-fiction storytelling and the scope of running a network.

    Before joining the Smithsonian Channel, I had no prior experience in entertainment production — I had spent the last four years in and out of newsrooms from NBC to The Hollywood Reporter. It has been a great challenge, as well as an accomplishment, to broaden my understanding of writing and producing in a new setting.

    Over the past four months, I’ve been able to collect collateral material and collate data as we launch our services in the United Kingdom and Latin America. The office is always buzzing with work which is indicative of our commitment to powerful storytelling and making sure our international launches go off without a hitch.

    I’ve been lucky enough to finalize rough cuts, edit scripts, and review acquisitions on a daily basis. Every day I am constantly learning from our expansive content that shines a new light on popular genres such as: air and space, history, science, nature, and pop culture. I especially enjoyed working on our show Geography of Art which is airing in Brazil and featured one of my favorite artists, Icelandic treasure Ragnar Kjartansson.

    My favorite moment thus far has been attending the launch of Pandamonium: A Virtual Experience at the National Zoo. The VR video explores the tightly held relationship pandas have with the District, focusing on the birth of Bei Bei, while giving users a 360-degree view of the explorative creatures in their habitat. I was able to survey a portion of the 200+ attendees ranging in ages from 2 to 60+ and create a formal release for our partners that detailed the positive responses from the public. Currently, I am editing a video that features testimonials and additional b-roll from the one-day public trial with the hope that the experience could become a ticketed, daily affair.

    I’ve been more than fortunate to grow and learn under the Smithsonian Channel these past few months and I feel more than prepared for my next chapter.



  • socdeansintern 12:02 pm on April 4, 2019 Permalink  

    Learning the Ropes of Local News Reporting 

    By Dean’s Intern Maria Carrasco at NBC4 Washington

    Maria CarrascoI love covering local news. And at NBC Washington, I get to do that everyday.

    My past year has spent covering D.C. crime, activities and curiosities, first with my fall internship at DCist and now with my spring internship at NBC Washington. And throughout all this time, I have seen the color and passion of the District, which can easily be bogged down by federal Washington. Everyday at NBC Washington feels exciting, like I’m writing news that matters, engages and impacts communities.

    In a typical day at NBC Washington, I start my day by reading all my morning newsletters – 730DC, Washington City Paper, the Washington Post and more – for story ideas. Then, I start pitching ideas, which could range from short write ups, video projects and longer visual pieces. And while pitching can often be the toughest part of being a journalist, NBC Washington is teaching me rejection and how to pitch better stories.

    After my pitch is approved, my day gets going. From covering residency fraud , a Virginia rec-center being renamed, a tradition for a local group of runners and more, I am becoming a better local reporter. Day-to-day, I see NBC Washington serve a local community of viewers and readers.

    And while I support full heartedly the journalists holding our federal government accountable, much is to be said about the reporters that cover the school board meetings , the deaths of local families and the struggling businesses of a growing gentrified city. As the Pew Research Center reports , 71 percent of U.S. adults think their local news media are doing well financially and 14 percent have directly paid a local news source. So, my biggest take-away from this internship is to support your local news outlets and stations.

  • socdeansintern 11:38 am on April 4, 2019 Permalink  

    Glimpsing Agency Life and Finding my Passions with APCO Worldwide 

    By Dean’s Intern Angela Digiaimo at APCO Worldwide

    Angela DigiaimoOver the past two months, I have had the opportunity to work as a Client Services Intern for APCO Worldwide in New York, NY. Being a recent graduate who had to place other priorities over internships during my time at AU, I knew I needed more experience at a larger agency to better understand agency life, where my interests lie, and how I would proceed with my job search. My time at APCO has helped me do just that.

    Upon starting my internship, I was imbedded on three different clients in varying industries: one in energy, one in retail, and one in food, more specifically McCormick, the leader in flavor. In addition to working on these accounts, I also completed ad hoc projects for clients in logistics, transportation, healthcare, and education. Not unlike any other project assistant, I have learned to manage projects for multiple clients, prioritize tasks, and work toward hard deadlines.

    Everyday has brought new challenges, but some of the projects I have worked on include building media lists, conducting research for pitches, writing pitches, and daily media monitoring. Though these projects may seem like tasks one might do at any PR internship, I have learned to do them for multiple industries, each having their own specifications and intricacies. It may sound like recreating the wheel a few times over, but in actuality, it is more like building houses, same foundation but with differing architecture.

    Additionally unlike at other internships, I have attended internal meetings for my clients where I am able to see the bigger picture and where my work fits into it. Having this opportunity, I feel how much my work is valued everyday as part of larger strategies and tactics. It has also helped me better understand what role I would play at an agency in my next job.

    Interning with APCO has also provided me with the chance to work on both the corporate and consumer side of public relations, and I have had a blast doing consumer work for McCormick. I have worked with the pitch team on writing various spice and flavor trend pitches, helped plan a production day, and aided in building brand relationships with influencers. These projects have allowed me to be creative and gain experience in areas I had not touched before.

    Even though I have found that I enjoy the consumer side more than corporate, I have gained an appreciation for corporate communications. From being the first person to flag an article that could potentially be an issue to seeing corporate social responsibility break through the news cycle to helping clients keep up with their industry through preparing daily clip reporters, I see how important that work continues to be.

    Through all of these projects, my internship at APCO Worldwide has given me a glimpse of what agency life can be like and helped me solidify my desire to work at one in the future. I have been able to hone my skills with a wide variety of work for a diverse set of clients, so I know I am well on my way.

    My advice to any PR student unsure of which direction to go in, apply for an internship at any of APCO Worldwide’s offices, and you’ll encounter mentors and experiences that will aid you in strengthening your skills and finding your passions.

  • socdeansintern 11:27 am on March 28, 2019 Permalink  

    Taking Flight at NASA 

    By Dean’s Intern Abbey Michaels at NASA

    Abbey MichaelsAs intern to the International Space Station’s Media Lab, I work on various multimedia projects such as creating scripts, editing videos, writing for the newsletter, and helping out on various productions. One of the coolest things about my job is that I get to work with restricted 8K footage taken directly from the space station. I also get to help film astronauts in the studio when they need to make an appearance for local media.

    My favorite part about working at NASA’s Johnson Space Center is the incredible amount of opportunities available to interns. Almost every week there is either a lecture, event, or tour that interns are invited to participate in. One of the coolest things I had the opportunity to observe was astronauts training underwater in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory where a to scale mock-up of the International Space Station resides emerged inside a giant pool.

    Another aspect of my job is guest operations for launches and I will eventually have the opportunity to attend a launch later in my internship. I am also supporting the development of a documentary about the psychological effects of traveling in space. What makes interning at NASA so great is the opportunity to work on projects even outside of your assigned department. I never feel like I’ve run out of things to do or projects to help out on.

    Before applying to the internship, I felt like NASA was way out of my reach. I thought you had to have a background in STEM to be eligible. After starting my position, I realized that NASA is full of all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds. It’s a great place to work no matter where your interests lie.

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