Internship Expedition at National Geographic

Getting a close-up look at National Geographic this semester.

By Dean’s Intern Leah Jereb at National Geographic

Last semester, I called Copenhagen, Denmark my home and the rest of Europe my classroom and playground. Returning home to Washington, DC, I was lucky enough to be selected as National Geographic Society’s newest Communications Assistant for this semester. Little did I know that every day I entered my office, I would be taken on adventures both at home and abroad– all within the walls of National Geographic.

Before beginning my internship at National Geographic, I can honestly say that my knowledge about the society was rather limited. I’d seen their beautiful photography bordered with the trademarked yellow rectangle on magazine covers, but never did I fully realize that one cover was a product of months of exploration, research, education planning, story development, and more.

There is never a dull moment at National Geographic. The communications department is always buzzing with new assignments, many of which land on my desk in need of assistance. The communications department covers public relations for all aspects of National Geographic, aside from the Channel. Within a day’s work, I go from working on a project for the Magazine to working on promoting National Geographic Live! events. So far this semester, I’ve helped work on projects including book publicity, events in the Nat Geo Live! spring season, and the 2015 National Geographic Bee.

Not only am I strengthening my public relations writing, researching, and coordinating skills while at National Geographic, but I am also encouraged, motivated, and eager to learn about the content lining the pages, webpages, walls, and employees of the campus everyday.

I am lucky to have supervisors who help hone my projects to my interests and expose me to exciting happenings around the National Geographic campus on days that I’m in the office. One of my favorite experiences so far has been attending meetings where National Geographic photographers present their latest photo collections to several photo editors and other magazine contributors and employees, including the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief. To sit in a room and hear well-known Nat Geo photographers describe their often unbelievable excursions in person, accompanied by their breathtaking photography, is an eye-opening experience. Not only is it exciting to have a behind-the-scenes look at upcoming magazine content, but to be in the presence of explorers who have embarked on sometimes life threatening experiences in the name of geographic exploration gives one great motivation, to say the least.

At an company-wide meeting within the past couple weeks, CEO Gary Knell, Chief Education Officer Melina Bellows, Chief Media Officer Declan Moore, and Chief Science and Exploration Officer Terry D. Garcia discussed how National Geographic is united as one to “inspire, illuminate, and teach.” Being part of an organization that has several products and activities, yet is united as one, creates a sense of true company pride that I feel after only one month as an intern at National Geographic.