This summer I had one goal in mind: to not go back to New York. Not that I don’t love my hometown, but I needed a change. I have grown to love DC more and more throughout my first two years at Catholic that I wanted to stay for the summer. However, I knew that if I was going to stay in Washington, it would have to be for a really good reason, and internships are the best reasons. So, I became determined to find an internship for myself in the area to really put myself to the test of living on my own, with a 9-5 work day. Using the powers of LinkedIn (a platform that everyone should use once they come to college), I found an internship that was tailored exactly to my Media and Communication Studies major. The internship I selected was a Public Relations position with the Academy of United States Veterans (AUSV).
AUSV is a relatively brand new company that has been around for a little over a year. My boss and the founder of the company, Assal Ravandi, is a veteran of the U.S. Army who has worked for many years in the entertainment industry in California after she served. It didn’t take long for her to realize that there was a pretty serious divide between the entertainment industry and the veteran community. AUSV’s ultimate goal is to bring the entertainment community and the veterans’ community together in a variety of different ways to try and eliminate the sharp divide that occurs between the two in a completely non-partisan way.
Now how exactly do I fit into this mission of the company? I work at headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, twice a week anywhere from eight to nine hours a day along with three other interns. I became the Public Relations Coordinator, which I have to agree sounds a lot better than “intern.” What is so great about working for AUSV is that we are not regarded as interns, we are treated like full-time employees. Assal made it clear to us that she did not want us to be labeled as interns so we each received titles for our positions.
We just hosted the Veterans of All Nations Gala on July 1st, which was a night to celebrate our country’s NATO alliance. Guests in attendance included representatives from most of the countries that are a part of NATO, as well as representatives from the U.S. government. In addition to that event, AUSV also partnered to host the film premiere of Not a War Story on June 30th. The film is a documentary about the production of Range 15, the first film to ever be produced entirely by veterans, independent of funding from any studio. The documentary showcases the great power of collaboration within the veterans’ community. Both events took place in Los Angeles, California, and all of the interns were flown out with the company to help out with the events. I can say without hesitation that the event was a success and the opportunity was an incredible learning experience! What better way to start getting involved in that industry than try to bring it together with one of the greatest communities in the country, the veterans’ community. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at AUSV so far, and I’ve only been there for a month. I am greatly anticipating what the future will bring.
Christian M. is from Massapequa, NY, and majors in Media and Communication Studies. You can catch him running Mr. CUA and Open Mic Nights on campus. He is the Membership Coordinator of the Cardinal Ambassadors.