CLS Strategies Intern Spotlight: Jamie Finkelstein

CLS Strategies Intern Spotlight: Jamie Finkelstein

Jamie Finkelstein was born and grew up outside of Philadelphia (yes, she likes the Eagles, but only because her dad likes them). She moved to Washington in 2013 to attend the George Washington University and, eventually, ended up a journalism and communications major at the School of Media and Public Affairs. She has her own photography business on the side and hopes to integrate her skill into another company after she graduates in May 2017.

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

My grandmother and my grandfather. They’re each from different sides of the family. I spent my Saturdays painting with Momom, and countless hours flipping through National Geographic with Poppop. They taught me the meaning and importance of creativity and gave me a foundation for my current goals and experiences as a professional and otherwise. 

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

I look to learn from a company that actually wants to teach, and that values interns and doesn’t take them for granted. I’ve noticed at CLS that everyone truly believes that interns play an integral part of the company, and it’s great to feel that your work is actually contributing to the bigger picture. Working at other companies that value the same have really prepared me to be in an environment as a full-time employee after I graduate. 

What are your long-term career goals?

Long term, I hope to end up at graduate school for business with a concentration in graphic design. Longer term, I’d like to lead a team as a Creative Director. 

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

I’m constantly surprised at how adaptable my goals are. I came to GW with an undeclared major and very little insight as to what I wanted to do as a creative person at such a political university. As I continued my education and completed four internships, I came to understand that it doesn’t matter where you are, but what you’re doing. I’ve found a creative niche in D.C., and I wouldn’t trade my experiences here for the world. 

Can you expand on your interest in public relations?

There is so much to do and learn in this field. Though I prefer the digital creative side, there are a million other things to learn and experience as a public relations professional. We get to work with clients from all different backgrounds with different needs—there is no such thing as a routine here, and I love that. 

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

I would say the technical side of designing. This is my first internship as a strictly digital intern, and it’s so great to finally be able to show my Adobe skills in a work environment. There’s so much more to learn on that front, but just being put to the task is pushing me to use and improve my skills as I go. 

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

Definitely letting one project go to get to another. When I’m in the zone designing a graphic, it’s hard to switch gears if something else needs to be addressed. My time at CLS has given me amazing practice with balancing projects, and I’m working on making an effort to give time to each assignment.  

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

There’s always something super important going on. We are literally at the heart of our democracy (high school me would have never thought that was interesting in any way, but D.C. changes you!) and that’s pretty amazing. Two weeks ago, I got to experience the Inauguration and the Women’s March, both of which I will never forget.

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 run 13 miles for fun.
2. If I see a dog in the street, there’s a 93.6 percent chance that I’ll cry. 
3. Last summer, I took a road trip up the Australian Gold Coast with my best friend/cousin. I hope to live there at some point in my life. 

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