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ASU political science major shares experience writing for USA Today


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April 20, 2016

Although Arizona State University student Jenny Ung is pursuing three majors — political science, journalism and mass communications, and Asia studies — that hasn't stopped her from also gaining valuable experience outside the classroom.

Ung is interning at USA Today through the McCain Institute Policy Design Studio and Internship Program this semester and has had multiple front page stories already. She helps the bureau with research, fact-checking, interviewing, attending events and writing stories for the OnPolitics blog on USAToday.com. 

“So far, I've been incredibly fortunate to have three front-page bylines at USA Today," said Ung. "Seeing my name in print has been very exciting. The first time this happened, my friend, who was in Arizona, sent me a photo of the paper; that moment was surreal — the fact that the story that I'd helped write was printed on the front page of a national newspaper.”

The McCain Institute Policy Design Studio, through the School of Politics and Global Studies, allows students to live and intern in Washington, D.C., for the semester and study how policy is made. Students gain valuable skills and hands-on work experience as well as research solutions to real-world foreign-policy issues in a weekly seminar.

“Overall, the program has been a great way for me to better understand foreign policy, how an embassy works and Washington politics," said Ung. "The Policy Design Studio course, which is run as a mock-embassy in Vietnam, has allowed me to learn specifically about U.S.-Vietnam relations and how to operate as a public affairs officer. As an aspiring journalist, I've had the opportunity to understand the differences between public diplomacy and journalism.”

Ung plans on applying to be a Fulbright scholar. If selected, she would complete the fellowship overseas after graduation and will plan on going to graduate school next, focusing on international journalism or political journalism.  Ung aspires for a career at a news organization while working her way to becoming a foreign correspondent.

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