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Building Stronger Connections as an OSA Intern

By Mehak Chadha, OSA PR and Communications Intern


Growing up in Silicon Valley, CA, U.S.A., there is a strong emphasis on utilizing science and technology in all facets of life. Coding basics are taught in schools to children as they learn how to read and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) is incorporated into every lesson plan.

Throughout my semester-long internship with The Optical Society (OSA), I have enjoyed both growing my passion for S.T.E.A.M through interactions with various OSA programs and events, and learning more about the optics and photonics field. In a similar way to how the backstage crew of a play builds sets, creates props and performs all the necessary behind the scenes work to enable actors to perform a successful show, my role at OSA allowed me to engage with public relations, communications, digital media and government relations teams to help advance OSA’s mission through connecting the global optics and photonics community.

Furthermore, as OSA’s public relations intern, I  delivered interesting and timely content to scientists, engineers, educators, technicians, industry leaders and other key players in the optics and photonics field  through social media, updating content on OSA’s website, drafting and editing blog posts and reviewing media coverage of OSA and our members that would be of interest to the community.

Creating editorial calendars on monthly and yearly events to feature on social media, sharing the work of OSA’s vast membership base to our newsroom, updating OSA’s various social media channels, participating in the planning process and execution of major conferences and meetings, amplifying coverage and responding to U.S. budget decisions for scientific institutions and initiatives and connecting scientists and industry professional engaging in similar projects across the globe were among the assignments that enabled me to learn more about OSA and its programs and events.

Highlights from the past semester include helping to promote an op-ed by OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan, directly responding to the White House Office of Science and Technology’s response to research and development (R&D) challenges, condemning the proposed budget cuts from the current administration for the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program, covering OSA’s 5G Summit featuring industry professionals, such as Nokia’s Chief Technology Officer, Aref Chowdhury, covering a UK delegation’s visit to OSA headquarters in Washington, D.C. USA to discuss opportunities for US-UK collaboration in quantum science and technology, and helping plan and execute social media coverage of The 2019 Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science Conference and Exhibition (FiO + LS), an event with 1,300 registrants, 100 technical sessions and over 800 technical presentations.

The most rewarding experience I have had at OSA is through my task of amplifying the work of OSA members. At the beginning of each month, I participated in meetings with OSA’s Public Relations, Membership and Foundation teams to brainstorm how OSA can better promote celebrations and milestones pertinent to the optics and photonics community.

I also selected unique member testimonials (CAMs) that help echo these celebratory messages on OSA’s social media channels. As OSA members work and live across the globe, this project allows me to connect with our members on an individual basis.

This project illuminates one of the reasons I have enjoyed my tenure as an OSA intern – to help make room for further worldwide collaboration between academic and industry leaders in the field of optics and photonics through stronger global connections!

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Posted: 5 December 2019 by Mehak Chadha, OSA PR and Communications Intern | with 0 comments

The views expressed by guest contributors to the Discover OSA Blog are not those endorsed by The Optical Society.

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