CLS Strategies Intern Spotlight: Alia Schechter

CLS Strategies Intern Spotlight: Alia Schechter

Alia is a rising sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is studying history and international relations. Though a D.C. native, Alia has lived in the United States and Israel, and is fluent in Spanish. She is also involved in the International Affairs Association at Penn, where she is responsible for organizing weekly talks with university faculty to discuss topics of international significance.

Who/what has had the most impact on your academic or professional interests?

My parents have had a profound impact on my academic and professional interests. I grew up around adults who were primarily involved in foreign policy and development work, which has given me a close-up look at the world of international affairs. I also had a mentor in a D.C.- based diversity program I belonged to who influenced my intellectual interests and the way I saw the world. He taught me how to engage in difficult dialogue with others, but more importantly he helped me understand the tremendous importance of media and communications throughout history. I realized that communications and history were two fields I wanted to learn more about.

What do you look for in an internship experience, and how has this shaped your career goals?

I’m here to learn! I hope to learn more about public relations, and be pushed to work on a variety of different assignments and accounts.

What are your long-term career goals?

That tends to change on a weekly basis. But more generally, I hope to pursue a career that I am passionate about – I want to be able to say that I am proud of the work that I am doing and that I enjoy it. 

What has surprised you so far about your journey towards your career goals?

That the older I get, the more career paths I find interesting! Seriously, there is so much I can do with the degrees and experiences I will have by the time I finish college – I struggle to narrow the options down.   

Can you expand on your interest in public relations?

I find public relations incredibly interesting because it is always changing. I like that is something that changes so much day to day with current events, it makes your work much more exciting! It’s also really interesting to see how the world of public relations has changed so much in the past 30 years or so.

What comes easiest to you as an intern at CLS Strategies?

I think it might be the ability to communicate and work with staff from of all levels of the company. Everyone in the office is incredibly approachable and keen on working with you. 

What has been your biggest challenge as an intern at CLS Strategies? How do you address that?

Learning to adapt to the work for each client and learning to prioritize different projects. It took some time, but I eventually got the hang of daily assignments and how to fit other work between them. 

What is your favorite thing about living in Washington, D.C.?

My favorite thing about D.C. is that it’s home. Aside from that, you can never run out of things to do, see and learn about in this city. My favorite thing to do here is visit the monuments at night!  

On our website we ask all of our staff to share three things about themselves. What are three things about yourself that we might not know?

1.    I am from Spain and speak Spanish at home.
2.    I spent half my week as a child living on a farm in Culpeper, Virginia.
3.    I love scuba diving, and have worked at a coral restoration project in the Red Sea. 


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