Casey Smith

Why did you decide to intern with Projects Abroad in Moldova?

Casey: I was looking for an internship of some sort to gain experience in a field I was interested in; but had no knowledge of; with the hopes of getting into a future Master's program. I chose Projects Abroad specifically because of the program options offered (I specifically chose Journalism), and the diversity of countries available. The process was so straight forward and open to any level of experience so I was immediately drawn to applying. I also like the questionnaire they sent me to place me in the best position possible.

Reporters in Moldova

Describe your day to day activities as an intern.

Casey: As a side note, I did not speak the local language, and was more interested in the communications process than actual journalism, so my experience was tailored differently than other journalist interns who wanted to write.

My schedule was very flexible, but I opted to come into the offices around 9am. I had a small desk and computer set up, and spent most of my time in the first 2 weeks doing research on the political situation in Moldova, choosing articles to showcase on the Center's international website, editing their translated reports in English and tagging along with journalists to various press conferences. My first press conference was with the Ambassador to Poland, who gave a talk regarding Moldova's up-and-coming elections.

I was fortunate enough to have more responsibility in the second half of my internship, where I helped coordinate and assist 20 journalists from the European Union who were invited to attend numerous press conferences and write for their local newspapers back home. My daily activities for the week included: making sure the journalists got to press conferences on time, answering their questions, organizing transportation, going to polling stations on election day, taking journalists to dinner, and ensuring that they could get all the information they needed for their stories (this included escorting them to impromptu meetings with organizations like Amnesty International).

How has this experience helped you grow personally and professionally?

Casey: My experience really opened my eyes to various aspects of the journalism field in an international setting. I REALLY enjoyed the fast paced environment and the challenge of being in a country so incredibly different from my home. Not only did I continue to travel for 6 months post-internship, learn how to adapt to sometimes challenging and uncomfortable situations, but I also met amazing contacts and applied my experience to furthering my education in International Relations and Communications. My internship helped me get into a 2 year Master's Program at Boston University, which I will be completing next year! It also helped me land a research fellowship with a global media monitoring company that conducts research and reports data that is used by universities, students and global organizations. Even though I was not doing journalism directly, I had room to make the experience what I wanted it to be and discovered my interests were more in contributing to the global awareness of issues through media mediums.