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What it’s Like as a Podcast Writing Intern in a VSFS VA Internship

Rob Laucius: A Surprising Opportunity

When I applied for the Virtual Student Federal Service (VSFS) VA internship, I never expected to be a podcast intern. After onboarding and spending a week exploring the internship, I expected to spend my summer solely writing Veteran of the Day (VOD) posts. Unfortunately, VOD submissions were slow at the beginning of the summer, so when I saw that “Borne the Battle” needed a new writer, I decided to throw my hat into the ring.

Little did I know that joining the podcast team would be the best decision of my internship. After I joined the podcast’s Slack channel, I received a call from Tanner Iskra, the host of “Borne the Battle.” We talked for a little while, and I was relieved to learn that the podcast team was small, friendly and supportive, the sort of environment in which I thrive.

At first, I was apprehensive about writing for the podcast. I had been interested in writing the Veteran of the Day posts because, as a student pursuing a degree in history, I thought this would be a great opportunity to develop my writing skills and learn more. It seemed to me that these podcasts didn’t have much to do with history. But after the first couple of podcasts, my perspective started to shift. Each podcast was a peek into a person’s life, the opportunity for them to share their story with the world and teach people, such as myself, things that they would otherwise never have known. After all, my appreciation for people’s stories is why I love history in the first place.

There are many things to love about being a podcast writer. I’ve never worked in a professional environment like this before, and I appreciate the opportunity to develop my writing skills and learn how to manage my deadlines outside of a college classroom. I enjoyed working with the other interns on completing our projects and being able to see the fruits of our labors when each new blog was uploaded online. But my favorite thing about writing for “Borne the Battle” is that I have the opportunity to listen to the stories of people who I otherwise never would have known about, and receive advice from people much more experienced than myself. The podcast features people from all different walks of life who can teach us so many things. I still think history is the best teacher, but I have a new appreciation for the things I can learn by choosing to listen to others.

Editor: Elissa Tatum

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