Augustana College printing logo

Oken '13 works on White House site, blog

December  20, 2013

Alicia Oken was a student life blogger while a student at Augustana.

Less than a year ago Alicia Oken '13 was knee deep in all the activities that kept her busy as an Augustana student. Now she is a graduate student interning in the Office of Digital Strategy at the White House, with a focus on the White House website and its blog. Her main duties include preparing and drafting blog posts, updating website content, and assisting with videos.

A triple major, Oken graduated from Augustana with a degree in political science, communication studies, and multimedia journalism and mass communication.

Q: Can you briefly describe a typical day?
A: Throughout the day, I help with the White House blog and West Wing Week (a weekly video summary). There are also speakers and professional interest group meetings throughout the week that I attend.

Q: How did four years at Augustana prepare for your internship?
A: Ultimately the practical skills I learned in and outside the classroom helped prepare me for my internship at the White House. In the multimedia journalism and mass communication program, I learned how to use Final Cut Pro, which has been useful when working on West Wing Week. As well, my experience as opinions editor for the Augustana Observer made me confident in my writing and editing skills, which are skills that have been really beneficial in my role as a content intern.

Q: What is your biggest challenge right now?
A: I'm currently in graduate school at Georgetown University. Figuring out how to balance a full-time internship and homework has been a challenge.

Q: From your perspective, what advice would you give a new Augustana student?
A: It may sound cliché, but try new things. Even if it's the spring term of your senior year and there's a group you've been interested in joining, go to a meeting! Some of my most memorable college experiences came out of trying new things and stepping outside my comfort zone.

Q: What do you miss about Augustana?
A: The three things I miss most about Augustana would have to be the friends I made there, the professors, and La Rancherita. While the Internet has been helpful in staying in touch, there is really nothing like catching up with a friend or professor face-to-face. And I have not been able to find any Mexican restaurant in D.C. that resembles La Rancherita, so I miss that as well.

Q: What's next for you?
A: I'm going to finish my master's degree at Georgetown University, and then hopefully I will get a job in D.C. My internship experiences have made me realize that I want to pursue a job in political communication, potentially as a communications director or working with digital content.

— Daisy Hoang '14