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Broadcast Journalism Major Interns for United Nations

RELEASED: March 2, 2009

Megan Lowry
Megan Lowry

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire senior and broadcast journalism major Megan Lowry, Burnsville, Minn., spent part of her fall semester in the company of United Nations ambassadors, the secretary of state and the president of the United States.

As an intern for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Lowry worked from Sept. 10 to Nov. 21, 2008, as a press and public affairs intern, where her duties included monitoring newswires for stories involving U.S. interests at the U.N.

"I also monitored U.N. and State Department press briefings to catch any questions from reports that might later be directed to the USUN press officers," Lowry said.

In addition, Lowry assisted press officers and attended Security Council meetings, including meetings centering on the African Congo and the growing issue of Somalian pirates.

"I formatted statements made by the U.S. ambassadors at the Security Council and other official meetings into press releases," Lowry said. "I posted the press releases to the Web and sent them out to media contacts and government officials."

Lowry learned of the internship through UW-Eau Claire's Center for International Education. She applied because of her interest in international affairs and politics, she said.

"I thought the opportunity to work at the U.S. Mission to the U.N. would give me an inside look into many current international conflicts and the politics involved," Lowry said.

To apply, Lowry filled out a standard internship application and wrote two essays. After being selected, she went through a security clearance process.

Along with attending a "meet and greet" with then President George Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Lowry met many ambassadors, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy. She also met reporters from different news agencies. One interesting aspect of the job was seeing many of the political officials in person, she said.

"It was interesting seeing the ambassadors interact; it created a sense that they were not just figures you see in the news," Lowry said.

Lowry said she considers her experience working for the United Nations priceless.

"This experience has definitely given me a better idea of what I want to do upon graduation," Lowry said. "I was able to see different opportunities open to journalists and discovered I would really love to work for an international news agency. This opportunity also opened my eyes to the chance to work with the government in a similar setting."

Of possible future employers, Lowry noted CNN and the BBC as two of her top choices.

Lowry encouraged students thinking of pursuing an internship, whether close to home or out of state, to go for it.

"I would say just go for opportunities that present themselves to you, because you never know where they might lead you" Lowry said. "These experiences have shaped me. They have helped me to look around at things that are more obscure."

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KJ/NW

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