Today marks a very special anniversary that does not involve family, graduation, or my love interest (I wish). Today is the five-year anniversary of meeting the fellow summer interns for NPR for the first time.
Of note: Although I’m in contract with NPR, this blog post is solely influence by myself, not the organization. Basically what I’m saying is I’m not getting paid for this. Let’s move to the story.
This anniversary is really special to me of many factors: 1) it was the main HR internship I did after I graduated, 2) the organization I was working with, and 3) the interns.
When we first met, I always thought there’s going to be some fighting and bickering and some hair pulling within those months I also thought there will be cliques within these interns. However, I can say this was the first tight-knit group I have been in at the time.
I enjoyed the adventures, the meetings, the embarrassments, the happy hour (yes, NPR had their own happy hour within the building), the process, and the people in the internship. My favorite story I love to tell is after the Intern Edition show, the NPR interns did an epilogue of what we did during the two months. One of the places the interns went was the XM Headquarters to meet Bob Edwards to learn more about public radio. If you don’t know the Bob Edwards-NPR situation, all I can say is Google it. It was a lovely trip and we put in the epilogue. When we show that footage, most of the NPR staff had a stunned face and ready to rip us. I can say for a few years, NPR used that video for the internship sans the XM part. In hindsight, it was a bad idea since now XM is Sirius SM and podcasting has taken over.
If you look on the sidebar, I always say the NPR Summer Interns of 2005 is the “Greatest Class I’ve Been” and still is. Five years later, most of the interns are still in contact with each other and haven’t killed each other (thank goodness). There are a few that are in graduate school, some moved to different countries and regions, some work in publishing, some went to a different job from their internship, some hit the big time, some stayed, some have created blogs, but everyone has done great things since the five years. Here are some:
Kim Fox – Advisor
Kim was a host and reporter for WOSU in Columbus, Ohio. Last year, she started her stint as a lecturer at The American University in Cairo Department of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Erick Hitter – Audio Engineering Intern
In the years since we completed our internship program, I’ve changed careers three times. After graduating with a degree in audio engineering, I continued at the University of Hartford in a Masters program in Accounting & Taxation. I graduated from that program in May 2007 and took a job at a small accounting firm near Hartford, CT, where I worked for just over two years. In June 2009, as a result of the recession, I was laid off from this position. I spent some months traveling the country, looking for another accounting job, and generally relaxing, all while living back where I’d grown up in New Hampshire. Towards the end of 2009, I began organizing WordCamp Boston 2010, a conference for users and developers of the open-source blogging and content management system WordPress. Shortly after the January conference, I received a job offer from one of the event’s sponsors, a small web development firm based in Providence, RI. Since March of this year, I’ve worked for C. Murray Consulting as a WordPress/BuddyPress developer, making the daily commute from my apartment near Boston down to our Providence offices. I do still find time to occasionally be involved in the audio engineering field, and people inevitably ask me accounting questions from time to time, but for the most part, I’ve made the transition to a career in website development and couldn’t be happier.
Liliya Karimova – Weekend Edition, Sunday Intern
For the past 5 years, Liliya have been working on a Doctorate in Communication at UMASS-Amherst. She just came back from an eight-month field trip in Kazan, Russia, supported by an IREX grant, where she conducted dissertation research on identity among practicing Tatar Muslim women. Along the way, she have been teaching Writing and Communication classes. Upon graduation, she hopes to teach and conduct research on inter-ethnic and inter-religious issues.
Emily Schmall – Executive Producer, Intern Edition
Since interning with National Public Radio, Emily has worked for The Miami Herald and Forbes magazine; earned her Masters at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism; and moved to Mexico. She is presently freelancing from Mexico City, the U.S.-Mexico border, and around Central America and the Caribbean.
Désirée Jones – National Desk Intern
Désirée began work with CNPE in 2007 as the Membership and Development Coordinator shifting roles to Member Relations and New Media in 2010 after her work on several new media projects. Désirée studied Agricultural Communications, Education and Leadership at the University of Kentucky (cum laude). She also studied with the School for International Training completing course work in Cape Town, South Africa on Multiculturalism and Social change. Upon returning to Louisville, Désirée recruited and trained volunteers for Louisville’s city-wide literacy initiative, Every1Reads, and co-coordinated service learning initiatives for the JCPS Volunteer Talent Center. In 2009, she represented CNPE and Kentucky Rotary as a Group Study Exchange team member in Brazil.
Malika Bilal – Online Editorial Intern
Since her wonderful summer as an NPR intern in 2005, Malika Bilal went on to graduate from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism. Shortly after, she found herself back in Washington, DC – this time with a job at Voice of America as an international broadcast newswriter. Throughout it all, she has been blessed, on occasion, to be able to blend her love of writing with her love of travel – and she now resides in the tiny Gulf nation of Qatar, working for Al Jazeera English as a web editor/writer, where she spends her downtime checking must-visit places off her endlessly growing list – and you guessed it – writing about the experiences.
Patricia Li – Music Unit Intern
After completing her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance at Carnegie Mellon University as Fulbright Scholar, she returned to Argentina in 2006. As a result of all the production and management skills she acquired during her internship at NPR, she decided to undertake an MBA degree in Buenos Aires. At the same time, she started to work as Consultant in Accenture for the high-tech industry, and later, as Terminals Sales Director for ZTE Corporation. Her latest adventure was to move to Montreal, Canada, where she is living now since end of May.
Whitney Gent – Corporate Communications Intern
While my stint as an intern at NPR did not bring me into a broadcasting career, it did deeply influence my career path. Each day, as I traveled from my temporary home in Northern Virginia to NPR headquarters, I passed at least half a dozen people who were visibly experiencing poverty – many of them presumably homeless. Every day, this bothered me, so I decided to do something about it. Upon completing my degree in speech communication at Drury University, I joined Americorps and moved to Indianapolis, where I worked at a day shelter for people experiencing homelessness. I followed that experience with graduate school at Indiana University, where I earned a master’s in rhetoric and public culture. My research there focused on how we talk about and represent homelessness in the United States. Meanwhile, I was also serving as the development director at a different day shelter. I completed that degree in May 2009, then moved back to DC, where I now serve as the development and communications director at the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.
Ashlei Taylor – Audience and Corporate Research Intern, Musical Director & Host Intern Edition
Since interning at NPR, Ashlei Taylor earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from University of Maryland at College Park and a law degree from Fordham University School of Law. Ashlei now works in Washington, DC as a trial attorney.
Laine Middaugh – Washington Desk Intern
I’m writing from Mexico, where I’m spending two months wandering around the Yucatán before moving to Boston in the fall to start my Masters in Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Since our NPR internship, I graduated from Scripps College in Claremont, CA, and moved home to Seattle, where I’ve spent the last three and a half years as a contract negotiator for a labor union representing long-term care workers.
Happy Anniversary, Guys!