What a great summer it’s been.

Best of luck to the 2014 summer interns as some head into full-time jobs, back to school or into the unknown. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Grey’s Anatomy:

Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely, and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next. We can choose to be afraid of it, to stand there trembling not moving, assuming the worst that can happen or we step forward into the unknown and assume it will be brilliant. - Dr. Yang

Signing off from managing the social media handles and this awesome Tumblr blog, I’m Hugo Rojo (@hugorojo) from NPR Headquarters in Washington, D.C. 

For more on the NPR Interns, follow @NPRInterns on Twitter and Instagram.

What a great summer it’s been.

Best of luck to the 2014 summer interns as some head into full-time jobs, back to school or into the unknown. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Grey’s Anatomy:

Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely, and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next. We can choose to be afraid of it, to stand there trembling not moving, assuming the worst that can happen or we step forward into the unknown and assume it will be brilliant. - Dr. Yang

Signing off from managing the social media handles and this awesome Tumblr blog, I’m Hugo Rojo (@hugorojo) from NPR Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

For more on the NPR Interns, follow @NPRInterns on Twitter and Instagram.

Exit Through The (NPR) Gift Shop: Miles Johnson

Join the 2014 summer intern cohort as we look back at the unforgettable experience of #NPRLife.

Name: Miles Johnson

Internship Position(s): Tell Me More and Identity and Culture Unit intern

Hometown: Washington, DC

College/University: Columbia University

Major: Political Science

What drew you to NPR? I’ve been listening to NPR for as long as I can remember. Diane Rehm is a HUGE name in my household—and an even bigger voice. But mostly, because I think they generally do much better journalism than their competitors, and I wanted to be a part of that.

What do you think separated you from other candidates applying for your internship? Oh, wow… This is kind of a weird question. It’s one of those, “effectively pitch yourself without sounding overtly braggadocios” tasks, right? I consider myself to be an intelligent, thoughtful, competent writer and journalist, but I’m sure similar people applied as well. I wrote for the paper and had my own radio station in college, but I’m sure that’s true of most students anyway. I was involved in a lot of student activism, but found a way to balance my opinions and not let it interfere with my reporting, but I’m sure most people are capable of doing that as well. So I’m not sure—but I bet a little luck came into play.

Describe some of your day-to-day duties and responsibilities. Every day, I was responsible for “guest wrangling” which is almost exactly what it sounds like. Making sure studio time was booked, that engineers would actually be at those studios, that Ops downstairs knew both of the previous bits of information, that guests knew they were supposed to be on air, and that they knew how to make it into the member station or bureau—all of those fell under my wide umbrella of jurisdiction. Additionally, I was able to write scripts for Michel Martin—a task both intimidating and extremely rewarding.

What’s your commute to NPR like? I, being a native of DC, live two stops away from NPR, so my commute is pretty amazing. Apologies to my fellow interns who live in, like, Georgetown—that’s rough.

Top 3 #NPRLife moments of your internship. Go. 3. Jacki Lyden came in to guest host, and educated me about Eileen Ford before I wrote a script for her. 2. Audie Cornish came and sat next to me at “the Intern Desk”—as it is so lovingly named—which really seemed to bother the rest of the Tell Me More staff, who couldn’t understand why she would prefer sitting with me than in Michel’s office. We later took a selfie that I hurriedly tweeted. 1. Tell Me More’s final broadcast.

Favorite album or song right now? My favorite album is actually a mixtape, because I’m all about supporting up-and-coming artists just trying to make dope music. Nevertheless, it’s Chicagoan Mick Jenkins’s new project “The Water[s]”. I can’t put into words how excellent it is, but will just say that the hip-hop scene in Chicago right now is about to blow up in a big way.

Favorite NPR show or podcast? My favorite NPR show, Tell Me More, no longer exists.

Words of wisdom for future NPR interns? Talk to as many people here as you can. I know that a lot of people will say to try to get face time with people like Guy Raz, or Scott Simon, or Michel Martin—the big fish here at NPR—but I’ve learned so much talking to the people who work for those people. Talk to their senior producers, their editorial staffers, their engineers—after all, if you’re interested in coming into this business, chances are your entry level position won’t be as the host of All Things Considered.

The Exit Through The (NPR) Gift Shop series is a continuous effort to showcase the diversity of young talent at NPR. Interviews were coordinated by Hugo Rojo. Photos by Colin Marshall.

Exit Through The (NPR) Gift Shop: Sara Peralta

Join the summer 2014 intern cohort as we look back at the unforgettable experience of #NPRLife.

Name: Sara Peralta (Twitter @sarafperalta)

Internship Position: Marketing Intern with National Public Media

Hometown: Austin, Texas

College/University: Texas State University (MA) and Agnes Scott College (BA)

Major: Mass Communications (MA) and International Relations/Spanish (BA)

What drew you to NPR? Like any self-respecting student of political science, I became a news junkie while in undergrad. I quickly discovered that NPR offers some of the best international coverage and so my obsession with public media grew from there.

What do you think separated you from other candidates applying for your internship? Competition is stiff for summer internships, so I used my application to first, clearly describe the specific skills that I offer, and second, explain my motivation to work at NPR. For example, I did not just simply say that I was familiar with using social media platforms, rather, I detailed how I have used social media to promote events and generate leads. It is not sufficient to just state that you have a skill, you must be able to articulate your technique. Next, I explained why I aspired to work at NPR. I entered grad school with the goal of changing my career. In grad school, I gained the skills needed to work in the media industry but I wanted a substantial work experience to complete the transition. In my cover letter, I explained my motivations and incorporated my life experience as an asset to the position. This strategy has proven to be effective, not only with gaining a summer internship, but also in securing a full-time position. I will begin my new job with National Public Media’s marketing team in late August.

Describe some of your day-to-day duties and responsibilities. National Public Media is about as close as you’ll get to Mad Men under NPR’s roof. Some days, you must research audience data to help create a compelling case for a Fortune 500 to underwrite NPR’s excellent content. Other days, you are developing digital marketing research strategies for the new website. No two days are the same.

What’s your commute to NPR like? Metro, metro, metro. I’m staying in Georgetown, so I take a bus and then a train to get to the office. Altogether, it takes about 45 minutes to an hour. About the same as my commute via car in Austin.

Top three #NPRLife moments of your internship? Go.
1. Pop Culture Happy Hour Taping
2. Quetzal’s Tiny Desk Concert
3. Sitting in on Tell Me More’s editorial meetings

Favorite NPR show or podcast? Of course, I love TED Radio Hour, Radiolab and Snap Judgment, but I attended a Pop Culture Happy Hour taping while here this summer. I’m pretty much obsessed with Linda Holmes, Steven Thompson and the whole PCHH crew. My new dream in life is to be their best friend.

Favorite album or song right now? I’m still obsessed with Pharrell’s GIRL album but Nickel Creek’s A Dotted Line is kinda taking over my life.

What did you work on this summer? Most of my time was devoted to managing the post-launch content and analysis of the new National Public Media website. From assessing content, to analyzing website feedback, I ultimately presented the findings to the marketing team and helped develop an action plan to address content gaps. I also conducted audience research for underwriting proposals for executive-level presentations and managed NPM email communications for member stations.

Words of wisdom for future NPR interns?

1. Be friendly.
Always say hi to everyone, in the cafe, in the elevator or in the halls. Everyone here is very welcoming and interesting. My favorite moments have been sharing a moment with a random person and learning how their path led them to NPR.

2. Be kind.
This piece is especially for those of us not coming from an Ivy League school or name brand school. Sometimes, you will be humbled and amazed by your cohorts. Other times, you may be frustrated or annoyed. That’s life. The important thing is how you decide to react. Your behavior reflects your values. Be gentle when others make mistakes and be generous when others shine. Be determined to be gracious.

3. Be bold.
Enthusiastically complete your assignments and then ask for more work. When your supervisor gives you more work, exceed their expectations. Be determined to be the best intern they have ever had. Attend every Tiny Desk concert and eat lunch on the 4th floor terrace. Identify someone with the job that you want and invite them to lunch. Ask how their experiences led them to NPR and for advice on how to achieve your dreams. Show up to all the editorial meetings, even if you don’t work for that team or in that department. Introduce yourself to staffers doing cool or interesting work and don’t be afraid to tell them that you’re a fan. NPR staffers are passionate about their work and will appreciate your excitement. Interning at NPR is a once-in-lifetime experience, so embrace every single moment.

The Exit Through The (NPR) Gift Shop series is a continuous effort to showcase the diversity of young talent at NPR. Interviews were coordinated by Hugo Rojo. Photos by Colin Marshall.

Exit Through The (NPR) Gift Shop: Helga Salinas

Join the summer 2014 intern cohort as we look back at the unforgettable experience of #NPRLife.

Name: Helga Salinas (Twitter: @helga_salinas)

Internship Position: Visuals Team

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

College/University: Columbia Graduate School of Journalism

Major: Received a Master’s of Science in Journalism

What drew you to NPR? The long-form visual stories and apps built by the News App drew me to NPR.

What do you think separated you from other candidates applying for your internship? My enthusiasm to learn as much as I can about how this team works with other desks and departments of NPR to produce projects that required the contribution and collaboration of many people.

What’s your commute to NPR like? I live in Anacostia. I take the Green Line to Chinatown, where I switch to the Red Line to get to NOMA, which the exit I take to get to NPR. The commute takes around 30 to 40 minutes depending on the trains.

What did you work on this summer? With the NPR Visuals Team and CodeSwitch, I worked on the “Behind the Civil Rights Act.”

The Exit Through The (NPR) Gift Shop series is a continuous effort to showcase the diversity of young talent at NPR. Interviews were coordinated by Hugo Rojo. Photos by Colin Marshall.

Exit Through The (NPR) Gift Shop: Greg Barber

Join the summer 2014 intern cohort as we look back at the unforgettable experience of #NPRLife.

Name: Gregory Barber (Twitter: @gregoryjbarber)

Internship Position: Washington Desk/Digital News

Hometown: Guilderland, New York

College/University: Columbia University

Major: English Literature and Computer Science

What drew you to NPR? I wanted to know the inner workings - and people - of a media company I’d only known and loved as a chorus of disembodied voices. Oh, and great storytelling.

What do you think separated you from other candidates applying for your internship? Editing a political magazine probably helped, but I was told having diverse interests is key. It was refreshing not to feel cornered into taking my relatively scattered background and twisting it into the perfect “hire me” narrative.

Describe some of your day-today duties and responsibilities. Writing for It’s All Politics; harassing tourists at the Capitol with audio equipment; building out radio stories for the website; cutting clips and transcribing interviews.

What’s your commute to NPR like? I live in Eckington, a few blocks north of NPR, where neighbors spontaneously deliver pho to your porch with the command “get fat.” It’s about 15 minutes to walk, or 5 minutes by direct bus. Seal of approval, stamped.

Top three #NPRLife moments of your internship? Go.
1. Co-hosting All Soups Considered
2. Writing about honeybee politics
3. When Tamara Keith told me to keep the White House Hershey’s Kisses a secret. Oops.

Favorite NPR show or podcast? Fresh Air.

Favorite album or song right now? Racine Carré, Stromae – French hip-hop fans: a year late, I know.

What did you work on this summer? There were the articles about Cambodian pop stars and immigration politics, the audio clips that ended up in radio pieces on Hobby Lobby and pension smoothing (but like, what is that?), and many others I enjoyed briefly touching in a small way. In the shower, I worked on my radio voice.

Words of wisdom for future NPR interns? Whatever your internship position, try to learn radio while you’re here. People are very good at it. Shadow reporters and producers, whether in your department or not, and offer to help where you can. Observe. And, yes, eat soup.

The Exit Through The (NPR) Gift Shop series is a continuous effort to showcase the diversity of young talent at NPR. Interviews were coordinated by Hugo Rojo. Photos by Colin Marshall.

Another intern cohort faces the end of their internship experience at NPR. Some are staying a little longer, some are going back to school. Wherever we are going, we’re leaving knowing we had the opportunity to work at one of the best media organizations out there.

Read our Exit Through The (NPR) Gift Shop interviews where we look back at our Tiny Desk Concerts, fangirling over public radio celebrities and the oh-so-tasty soup from our cafeteria.

NPR isn’t just one radio station, it’s a network of them. This isn’t just another group of interns. We are a family.

Exit Through The (NPR) Gift Shop: Amanda Buck

Join the summer of 2014 intern cohort as we look back at the unforgettable experience of #NPRLife.

Name: Amanda Buck

Internship Position: UX/Visual Design Intern

Hometown: Brunswick, Ohio

College/University: I went to Ohio State University for undergrad and I’m currently a grad student at MICA.

Major: MFA in Graphic Design

What drew you to NPR? I like working within the public realm. I am a huge fan of NPR and was excited about the possibility of working on projects that affect NPR listeners everywhere.

What do you think separated you from other candidates applying for your internship? Being a grad student, I think I had more experience than other candidates. Also, my dedication to mission-driven work is apparent from my portfolio. Plus, my in-person interview went really well! I connected with the team right away.

Describe some of your day-to-day duties and responsibilities. Digital Media’s process is agile, so we have daily scrums: one for the design team and then another for the specific project team you’re on. My duties day-to-day have changed for each scrum cycle, but all of the work we do is for NPR’s digital platforms: the website, blogs, mobile and tablet apps, connected television, connected cars, wearables, etc.

What’s your commute to NPR like? Since I go to school in Baltimore, I decided to stay there for the summer. I commute everyday on the MARC train, which takes about 1.5 hours each way door-to-door. It’s a long commute, but I’ve fit lots of reading in this summer!

Top three #NPRLife moments of your internship? Go.
1. Seeing some incredible Tiny Desk Concerts, including The Family Crest, Luluc, and Rodrigo Amarante. The Digital Media desks are close to NPR Music’s so I never missed a show!

2. Witnessing the live finale of Tell Me More with Michel Martin. Live radio is seriously amazing.

3. Being here when our teams in Digital Media soft-launched NPR One, the new NPR app. It was a great learning experience and I’m so happy I was able to be a (very, very small) part of it. So much hard work went into this app!

Favorite NPR show or podcast? I am a daily Morning Edition and All Things Considered listener. I also like Fresh Air, All Songs Considered and Planet Money Podcasts. Hard to pick a favorite…

Favorite album or song right now? Saintseneca’s Dark Arc.

What did you work on this summer? I worked on trying to solve these problems: How does the nav drawer look in NPR One for Android? How would NPR One work in a Connected Car? How can we add the search and suggestions functionalities of the NPR One mobile/tablet apps to the web app? What do sponsorship and promotions look like in the NPR One apps, across devices? I also spruced up the NPR Reddit page and am currently writing blog posts about what the Digital Media design team has been working on this summer.

Words of wisdom for future NPR interns? Take advantage of your time here. There is so much to learn so make appointments with folks outside of your team to learn more about the organization as a whole. Even if you’re super busy, go to all of the things (intern events, Tiny Desks, etc.)!

The Exit Through The (NPR) Gift Shop series is a continuous effort to showcase the diversity of young talent at NPR. Interviews were coordinated by Hugo Rojo. Photos by Colin Marshall.

From NPR Headquarters in Washington, we are the interns.

twitter.com/NPRinterns

view archive



#NPRtbt

Our Interview Series: Exit Through The (NPR) Gift Shop

Ask the interns...