Jessica Geraci '11 recently finished a coveted internship at National Public Radio in Washington, D.C., one of only 40 students in the country to earn a spot from a pool of thousands of applicants. She was the first intern taken on specifically for the NPR Berlin department. The communication and rhetoric major and her mother, Laura Briefs Geraci ‘86, are both big NPR listeners—though the liberal Geraci and conservative Briefs often end up in friendly arguments afterward! Assistant Director of Media Relations Julie Long interviewed Geraci as she was winding up her four month tenure.
I’m hoping to be a foreign correspondent. Before I got to Nazareth, I studied abroad in Russia, then while at Nazareth I went to Costa Rica and Germany. The staff I interviewed with at NPR loved that I listened to NPR Berlin while studying in Berlin.
It’s difficult, because the field is changing—they’re not sending so many people overseas anymore. I’d like to do the reporting. Half of journalism is going out there and seeing the story yourself and being a part of it. My first year at Nazareth, when I was working for the Center for International Education, I had the chance to room with a student from Afghanistan. That opened my eyes to believing that friendships can help create peace and that we’re all basically the same.
I was the NPR Berlin/NPR Worldwide and programming intern, so my responsibilities ranged from writing event blurbs for the Berlin station to checking shows before they went onto Sirius radio. I got to put together promos for “Tell Me More”, “The Diane Rehm Show”, and many of the others. In addition to my day-to-day work, I also participated in the intern run NPR Intern Edition project, where I wrote blogs and produced a final audio story about adoption.
There is always something exciting happening, someone new in the building. One of my fellow interns rode the elevator with actor Seth Green the other day! They also have these things called tiny desk concerts, where they bring in musicians like Yo-Yo Ma who perform right in the newsroom, and the whole building is invited to watch.
I’m going to work for the author Joan McDonell on Long Island, helping her do research. She's writing a series of mystery novels right now. I’m also in the process of applying for the Peace Corps, but because that process is so lengthy, it will be another year before they send me anywhere. I’d love to go to Southeast Asia—I hope to get placed there.
I knew that I should be putting myself out there and going for opportunities, even if I didn’t think I'd get them. Everyone has experienced being scared of taking a chance. What separates the people who chase their dreams is being able to push past that.
Jessica Geraci '11 in the NPR studio in Washington, D.C.