Update: More good news! Leen tells us she’s accepted an internship at the Participatory Culture Foundation and will be starting on June 1.
By Synthia Salas and Alex Braun
New York City living isn’t so outrageous when your rent is free.
Last month, we partnered with Educational Housing Services to give away a summer room at one of EHS’s state-of-the-art, fully-furnished student housing complexes. EHS finally has their winner — and it’s none other than Leen Zada, a senior PR student at George Mason University. We asked Zada what it felt like to win and what she plans to do with her awesome new pad.
Have you ever been to NYC?
A: Yeah, I have been to New York a couple times with my family when I was younger, a couple times with my photography class from high school, and the last trip I made to New York was two summers ago for a reunion with four of my girlfriends (Giselle, Camille and Iva). We had been best friends all through middle school and high school, but Giselle moved to New York and Camille moved to Ohio. So it was really great to reunite with them over the summer.
Do you know yet who you are going to take with you?
A: I’ve asked a few of my friends to come with me, but unfortunately all of them already have their summer plans set; whether its taking summer classes or interning in DC. But I’m still waiting to hear from one of my good friends Katie, she might be coming! I have a few friends that live in the city to show me around, and I’m really excited to meet new people to experience New York.
What do you want to do with your career?
A: I am going into my senior year at George Mason University, and after that I will be working towards getting my master’s. From what I have been learning in school, I love PR and I cannot wait to be immersed in this field and learn as much as I can. I was born in Jordan and have lived in the DC metro area (Mclean and Vienna) for the past 10 years, and I’m fluent in both Arabic and English and quite comfortable with both cultures; which is a great advantage.
Do you have an internship lined up yet for this summer?
A: Public relations is huge in New York, and this is my time to take advantage of this opportunity in order to set off my career. Unfortunately, I do not have an internship yet. I am really hoping to find an internship in PR or media production. I have been applying to different internships hoping to find one this late. One company I have been in contact with is Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF), a nonprofit organization that creates open and decentralized video tools and services.
Have you completed any internships before this?
A: Yes, I had a summer internship with Greyscale Films, a production company based out of Amman, Jordan. I worked around the office of the video and film production company, shadowing different members. I also assisted in filming some of their projects in Amman.
I also worked with Image Makers — Women in Film and Video, which is sponsored by Discovery Channel. I worked with a group of other students on a 30-second pubic service announcement (PSA) for a nonprofit organization. We met with our client, Mentors Inc.; then researched, wrote, produced, directed, and edited a PSA to help spread their message. Our group actually won the competition between two other PSAs, and had a chance of our PSA being aired on TV.
How has this contest changed your plans/goals?
A: This contest has changed my plans/goals in so many ways. When I saw the email about the contest I thought I’d enter it, but always thought in the back of my head I would never win it. I was not expecting to win this contest at all, so it really came as a big surprise!
I was set on staying in DC to take summer classes and trying to find an internship. This is a great opportunity for me to step out of my comfort zone, to experience living on my own in NYC for about 3 months and to get an internship in PR/media production. My goal is to be immersed in the real-life communication/public relations field and to learn as much as I can. I can’t describe how happy I am to have this opportunity to live and intern in New York.
Want to learn more about EHS housing for New York City interns? Click here to visit their website.