Faces Of NPR: Anjuli Sastry

May 19, 2017

Faces Of NPR is a weekly feature that showcases the people behind NPR, from the voices you hear every day on the radio to the ones who work outside of the recording studio. You'll find out about what they do and what they're inspired by on the daily. This week's post features one of NPR's Production Assistants for All Things Considered, Anjuli Sastry.

The Basics:

Name: Anjuli Sastry

Twitter Handle: @AnjuliSastry

Job Title: Production Assistant, All Things Considered

Where You're From: Alameda, CA

An Inside Look:

You're a Production Assistant for All Things Considered on the West Coast. What does that mean?

I book and produce general All Things Considered segments and also do host features and reports in the field with our NPR West ATC host, Kelly McEvers. I also produce series for the show, mix reporter pieces, and help run our social media platforms.

How did you get started here? What advice do you have for someone who wants a job like yours?

I started out as a national desk intern at NPR West. After that, I temped for a few months at member stations and Marketplace in Los Angeles before getting hired for my job at ATC out in DC!

My advice would be to meet staff on our show (and other shows and desks at NPR) and spend a few days shadowing us and getting to know the job. You don't know until you do and people are always willing to share their experiences and teach you the ropes.

What's your favorite #nprlife moment?

There are SO many moments to choose from but as cheesy as it sounds, the best #nprlife moments for me are just heading into work each day and working with some incredible people. The ATC staff is a family and even though I work across the country, I feel their warmth, collaboration, and pure talent no matter what we're working on. We've had a lot thrown at us in the past year and no matter how stressful it gets, we're always there for each other professionally and personally. I know I can count on my colleagues at NPR, and I feel very lucky to say that.

What are some cool things you've worked on?

It's also hard to choose just a few on this one! I've gotten to work on some amazing pieces for the show.

I just finished producing this series on the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles Riots. I've been working on it for four months and it's amazing to see it finally come to fruition. I got to work with some stellar reporters and editors and it was a truly collaborative experience.

Just before the inauguration, we produced this segment on a divided couple (the husband supported Trump, the wife supported Clinton) and it was so much fun - especially hearing Robert Siegel's infamous laughter. It brought heart and warmth to a difficult issue that people nationwide continue to grapple with.

And earlier this year, I headed to the border with Elissa Nadworny and Melissa Block for the "Our Land" series — I learned a ton and field produced a few stories, including this one.

First thing you do when you get to the office?

Head to the morning All Things Considered meeting, but hopefully grab a cup of coffee first!

What's on your desk?

An 'Are we having fun yet?' sticker — my daily existential question. A scary devil mask for when reporters don't file their tape on time. Chapstick, a necessary essential. A whiteboard to keep track of all my long term projects and to make lists! I love lists!

Favorite podcast(s)?

Code Switch, Embedded, This American Life

Favorite Tiny Desk Concert?

Tiny Desk, come visit NPR West! I don't get to see them anymore now that I'm based in Culver City. But when I was based out in DC, my favorite concert was of one of my favorite bands: Blind Pilot.

Favorite places in Culver City, CA?

The Baldwin Hills overlook — I spent New Year's Day climbing to the top and the view of Los Angeles was spectacular.

What emoji best represents you?

This one!

What's your motto?

To be successful, you must be passionate about what you do.

What do you love about public radio?

I love that it is an intimate medium and that it's genuine in terms of storytelling: you can't really get that anywhere else.

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