CLS Strategies Intern Spotlight: Christopher Stein

CLS Strategies Intern Spotlight: Christopher Stein

Christopher Stein is a third-year student at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS), majoring in Global Business and minoring in Mandarin Chinese. He is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Before joining CLS, he interned with Chevron Corporation’s Policy, Government & Public Affairs function in San Ramon, California. At Georgetown, he serves as Director of Digital Operations at The Caravel, a student-run international affairs newspaper, and the treasurer of The Anthem, a literary and arts magazine.

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

I can thank many of my high school teachers for putting me on the path to study international politics, economics, and law. Several of my academic advisors, faculty mentors, and teachers first stoked my interest in world affairs and encouraged me to apply to the SFS at Georgetown. My professors in the SFS have only honed this academic interest in the world and expanded its scope.

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

When looking for an internship, I was really looking for a job culture. Some of my previous experience has been in volunteer-run organizations and at a large multinational, so in choosing CLS, I wanted to experience what it’s like to work with a small, nimble team doing fast-paced, dynamic work. My internships have showed me many different sides of the private sector, given me a better understanding of how different companies do business, and taught me how to operate in a professional environment.

What are your long-term career goals?

I want to work abroad someday with a strong preference for China, Taiwan, or the United Kingdom. As for what I want to do, I am interested in management or human capital strategy consulting for a multinational or foreign corporation with significant and complex operations abroad.

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

I’ve been most surprised by how corporate culture shapes every aspect of how a company operates. Some companies are, by nature, agile, creative, and risk-taking while others are careful and conservative. Adapting to these different cultures at different companies enables you to be effective, but I’ve found that some companies’ cultures do not suit all people.

Can you expand on your interest in public relations?

There is a lot of power in words and in perception. Some 83 percent of the value of the top U.S. firms can be attributed to intangible assets like brand, so I’m fascinated by how PR tools can be used to protect, transform, and build brand value and public support.

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

I’m a very thorough person. At CLS, I’ve brought this thoroughness to bear on research projects for our clients to make sure we don’t miss any relevant information and that the research is placed in the proper context, thus enabling our clients to make better decisions.

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

My biggest challenge at CLS has been to stay in-the-loop on fast-changing client needs while only working part time. I’ve addressed this problem by carefully reviewing all communications from days I wasn’t in the office. I’ve been able to keep up to date this way.

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

The best thing about D.C. is the fact that most of its cultural institutions are free admission. I love to go study in the courtyard of the National Portrait Gallery or slip into the National Gallery of Art for a quick trip. There is such an amazing concentration of incredible art and culture in D.C., and most of it is accessible free of charge.

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. In high school, I broke my school’s community service record with more than 200 hours of service a year during both my junior and senior years. I was a 2016 recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
  2. Next year I will study abroad for three months at National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan. I have previously been to mainland China, but this will be my first time in Taiwan. I am business proficient in Mandarin Chinese.
  3. I’m both an Eagle Scout and a first degree brown belt in Kenpo karate.
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