Mary Adams

What It’s Like as the Podcast Department Head in a VSFS VA Internship

Mary Adams: The Podcast DH Speaks Out

Short Summary: Mary Adams joined the VSFS VA internship looking for a new experience and started as a podcast transcriber for the VA podcast, Borne the Battle. Now she is the department head of the podcast production department and works in many aspects of the show production process. She has enjoyed working with the Veteran community and giving them a chance to connect.

When Mary Adams joined the Virtual Student Federal Service (VSFS) VA internship, she was looking for something to occupy her time in between semesters. “I wasn’t able to take classes over the summer due to scheduling,” she explained. “Then an email came from my school announcing the internship. It was not something that I would get credit for, as an accounting major, but I am from a military family and thought I would have fun working with the VA.”

She started as a transcriber for the VA’s Borne the Battle podcast. Her job was to make the podcasts accessible to people with disabilities. “We listen to the podcasts and type the script out so someone that is not able to listen can read it instead. Having transcripts of the podcasts widens the audience that can benefit from listening to them.” 

Now working as the Podcast DH, Mary helps with all aspects of the show. Among her responsibilities are working with the podcast host on scheduling interviews and communicating with the guests. “If there are issues or questions, I answer them or send them to the host. And if there are scheduling issues, I work with all parties to get them straightened out,” she said. 

For Mary, working with the Veteran community has been rewarding. “The podcast team is responsible for helping Veterans tell their stories, allowing them to tell others about certain benefits and making the podcasts accessible. I feel like the podcast has given Veterans a voice and allowed others to know that they’re not alone.” 

The VSFS VA internship has also been a chance for her to learn how to speak out. “I am usually very introverted. I don’t communicate often on social media and only speak when spoken to,” she remarked. “But this internship has taught me how to communicate better. The internship rewards us for speaking out and treats everyone as if whatever they say is important. I’ve noticed that I’m more willing to communicate in the rest of my life and I have more confidence that what I have to say is important.”  

Mary’s advice to potential interns is to apply to the internship. “In life, you will never regret trying but you will regret not trying. This internship builds communities and connections. You may walk away with nothing but 9 months of a fun experience. Or you may walk away with connections that will help shape the rest of your life. But if you do not try, you’ll walk away with neither of these.”

Editor: Elissa Tatum

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