A RANDA internship is far from boring.

intern

Every intern can relate to the feeling of wanting to overachieve a little their first days at the office. Eager to impress, I always brought lunch and ate at my desk while I worked. I’d pack a can of soup in my briefcase every night for the next day, so much that it became routine. Later on in my internship, my manager and mentor, Dr. Berger, was scheduled to attend a conference in San Antonio. I was offered the opportunity to attend as well, and I jumped at the chance to experience my first “real” business trip. It wasn’t until our return flight that the TSA x-ray machine flagged a massive metallic object in my briefcase. I was whisked out the line, barefoot and beltless, to a side table. One TSA agent drilled me with questions about my activities in Texas as another rifled through my bags as if for buried treasure. What emerged caused me to hang my head: a can of soup. Campbell’s chicken noodle never looked so disappointing.

Dr. Berger stood transfixed, smiling like a kid in a candy shop, basking in the moment. He promptly speed-dialed our CSO and, in that moment, a nickname was born. I became the first and only (to my knowledge) intern detained by the federal government in the name of RANDA.

Near-arrest aside, interning with RANDA has been an engaging and educating experience. I’ve grown and learned more than I ever would have imagined, but what sticks with me the most are the relationships I’ve developed, and continue to develop, with the RANDA family. I will always value how everyone welcomed me with open arms, the feeling of free flowing camaraderie, and the spirit of family that permeated everything we did. I’ll always remember my second home.

– Chris ‘Soups’ DuVall*

Chris majors in public relations at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and is currently interning with Dr. Rod Berger.

“I value RANDA because they allow me to sit down at the table and give me the opportunity to both express my ideas and to learn from theirs.”

*Chris has discontinued traveling with soup cans.

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