Intern Intel: Project Syndicate

Throughout this semester, I have been working with Project Syndicate as a communications and media research intern. Project Syndicate is an international media organization that publishes and syndicates commentary and analysis on a variety of important global topics. The opinion pieces are all published on their website and are also distributed to a wide network of partner publications for print. As an intern here this fall, I’ve learned a lot about how this organization functions and got a much larger insight into what some career opportunities in communications look like.

Although most of the students in the NYU Prague program study in New York year-round and are therefore available for semester internships, my university in Durham, North Carolina doesn’t have many opportunities nearby for work of this nature. I knew that I wanted to take advantage of NYU’s established relationships with organizations here in Prague before I arrived, and after the internship fair, Project Syndicate really stood out to me. I had never done any kind of internship or research related to communications, but I was intrigued to apply and try it out.

One of the key factors that led to my decision to work here during the semester had to do with the office environment and the opportunities I was offered. The open, brightly-lit space often has lively conversation, amazing views of the city, and the office dogs going from desk to desk to get attention. I had a lot of input in the work I was going to be doing, as my supervisors were intent on making sure the experience was beneficial for me and my personal goals as well. As a result, I was able to cater a lot of my time towards subjects that interested me.

I spent many of my working hours completing reports on articles that were funded by the Gates Foundation. This grant allows for commentaries to be produced on critical issues such as health, women and children’s human rights, and educational access, among many other topics. The reports I created gathered the publishing data, the reach of the published article, and the social media impact of the commentaries.

I also spent a significant portion of my time researching the history, media setting, and information regarding the functioning publications in different nations in Latin America. I was able to use my Spanish language skills and my personal knowledge of living in Latin America to research new publications, either print or media newspapers in certain countries, that may be good fits for a partnership with Project Syndicate. This was later used when my supervisor traveled to the countries I created profiles for and held meetings with editors of the publications that were gathered. Several new partnerships were started through that trip and the country profiles that I created allowed me to learn more about media in different countries, how it functions, and the role Project Syndicate plays globally.

Although this was my first experience with trying a communications, media, and journalism-based organization at any capacity, it has really sparked an interest. I loved being in such an open office setting and having input in what work I would be completing at any given point throughout the semester. My supervisors were wonderful, friendly, and readily available to answer questions or assist as I needed them. I am thankful for having such a positive internship experience this semester and am excited by the prospect of pursuing something related to communications in the future.

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