OHIO junior blends media and journalism skills with dual internships in Armenia
Olivia Lutz, an Ohio University junior, has a lifelong goal of traveling the globe and exploring different cultures firsthand.
So when Julie Conrad, Scripps College of Communication administrative services associate, shared with Jatin Srivastava, professor and Institute for International Journalism director, an opportunity for a student to intern in Yerevan, Armenia, Lutz jumped at the chance to interview for the position.
Lutz impressed the interviewers so much, she was offered two internships: a public relations and media intern for American University of Armenia plus as a journalism intern at CivilNet, an online media platform in Armenia.
“My goal in life is to travel and visit as many places as I can,” Lutz said. “I am passionate about learning about different cultures and customs, so I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to explore Armenia, learn about the culture and gain experience in different media fields.”
Lutz is a media arts production major in the Scripps College of Communication’s School of Media Arts and Studies, with minors in music from the College of Fine Arts and retail and fashion merchandising from the Patton College of Education. She is also working towards a social media certificate.
She set out in late May to begin her dual internships and returned at the end of July. Immediately after arriving in Armenia, Lutz began exploring the country while also expanding on her multimedia skills.
For her internship at American University of Armenia, her tasks ranged from creating social media content and videos, writing articles, as well as working on a long-term project of promoting the institution’s new media lab, which is slated to launch next year.
Lutz’s internship at CivilNet had her working on text-based and video-based story content. While her typical workday varied, she often spent time going to events for interviews as well as researching, editing and writing for her articles.
Her favorite story to cover for CivilNet was the B’Arev Festival, a two-day nature and meditation event, where she interviewed the festival’s media manger and wrote an article about the sustainability and local aspects of the event.
Despite facing some language barriers, which Lutz noted is expected when traveling in a different country, she tremendously enjoyed her experience in Armenia.
“It has allowed me to immerse in the culture of Armenia and travel around the country, exploring the different regions, as well as gain professional development and create a more well-rounded perspective from working both in the U.S. and Armenia,” Lutz said. “I have also had the opportunity to learn some Armenian and to develop personal growth, as this is the first time I have been outside the U.S. by myself as well as the first time I have lived by myself outside the country.”
For students looking for experiential learning and internship opportunities, Lutz encourages them to first get involved on campus in any way they can, as it helps open doors for networking opportunities.
Lutz knows from experience, as she keeps herself busy on campus. She is head of videography for VARIANT, a student-run fashion publication, as well as a secretary for Tempo Tantrums, an a cappella group, and is involved in with the Ohio University Multimedia Society. She also works for Housing and Residence Life as a resident assistant.
“Get involved in clubs and do as many internships as you can, because the more experience you have, the better your chances are for gaining more experiential learning activities,” she said. “Doing these things will help you network, especially because it can be very awkward at networking events, so doing clubs and jobs are a lot easier to get to know people and their connections.”