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Conquering Changes in Communication

Posted on Jul 9, 2020 by in The OFI Blog |

Madison Wiernusz, an intern at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, is photographed above


Conquering Changes in Communication

By: Grace Fogarty and Lillie Weaver


Changing times call for a change in communication, and that’s what former Communications Intern Madison Wiernusz experienced at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM). She was eager to work her internship from January – May 2020; however, the COVID-19 pandemic derailed her plans. In March, it seemed as though the internship would be cancelled, but, adapting to these unprecedented circumstances, the Smithsonian Institution introduced a virtual internship. This made it possible for Madison to continue growing and developing as a member of the Smithsonian Team, but it also helped her learn about the importance of crisis communication.

Madison was interested in crisis and strategic communications, but she never expected to experience it at the Smithsonian Institution. Back in December, after speaking with Holly Williamson, a Public Affairs Specialist at NASM, Madison was offered an internship at the Smithsonian’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Her responsibilities included creating Social Media content, “conducting local tourism and marketing outreach”, and “assisting with media relations at museum events.” Once the COVID-19 pandemic sent Madison home to work, some of her responsibilities changed while others stayed the same. Nonetheless, she grew from the experience.

While it was not the internship she envisioned, Madison values the time she spent working remotely because, as she says, “[she] learned the importance of clear and effective communication during a time of such uncertainty.” She also recognized her team’s strong efforts while she assisted them in preserving contact with NASM’s associates. Just as she admires their hard work, she also expresses much gratitude towards them for continually helping her grow during the difficult time. Above all, Madison looks forward to using skills from this experience in her future opportunities. You can learn more about Madison’s experience as an intern at the NASM here