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NMSU journalism student takes on Talk Radio internship in Washington, D.C.

With an ambition to work in broadcast journalism, New Mexico State University student Rachel Christiansen is spending the final semester of her undergraduate career in Washington, D.C., working as an intern with Talk Radio News Service.

New Mexico State University journalism student Rachel Christiansen is spending her final semester as an undergraduate working as an intern for Talk Radio News Service in Washington, D.C., an internship program sponsored by the New Mexico Broadcasters' Association. (Courtesy photo)

Talk Radio News Service is a media outlet providing government, political and world news to 400 radio affiliates nationwide. Sponsored by the New Mexico Broadcaster Association, the semester-long internship has Christiansen working full time as a political reporter covering events such as press briefings, hearings on Capitol Hill, press conferences and other governmental happenings in Washington.

"I had been looking for an opportunity to do a professional internship for a while," Christiansen said. "I know that having one on a resume greatly increases your chance of landing a job after graduation. This internship really caught my attention and something told me I needed to take it."

Christiansen began work in January and has since had the opportunity to cover press conferences held by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. John McCain and billionaire real estate tycoon Donald Trump. On a daily basis, Christiansen reports on the events, acquires audio clips, writes, shoots video, edits and posts content on the Internet. Talk Radio also closely follows New Mexico delegations, which requires Christiansen to prepare 30-second radio news packages for local stations.

"Rachel was a great candidate for this internship," Journalism Department Head Sean McCleneghan said. "She's very aggressive, terribly focused and motivated."

During her time at NMSU, Christiansen was heavily involved with the Journalism Department's News 22 program, where she worked as a field reporter and last semester took on the role as anchor. When she heard about the Talk Radio internship, Christiansen submitted transcripts and an essay to the NMBA and was chosen to spend her final undergraduate semester in Washington. Through the internship, the NMBA sponsors Christiansen's transportation and housing at Washington Intern Student Housing, where she lives among fellow interns from around the country.

"I've always had an interest in politics and it was always something I wanted to learn more about," Christiansen said. "In the last couple of months I've learned so much. This internship has given me a whole new insight into the way our country is run."

Christiansen will graduate this May with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. She hopes to pursue a career in broadcast journalism and ultimately become a television news reporter.

"This experience has really opened my eyes to the many opportunities out there for journalists," Christiansen said.