CLS Strategies Intern Spotlight: Elizabeth Barnett

CLS Strategies Intern Spotlight: Elizabeth Barnett

Elizabeth Barnett is a sophomore at Georgetown University studying Healthcare Management and Policy. Outside the classroom, she is involved with Georgetown University Women in Leadership as a member of the organization’s financial operations board. Elizabeth is passionate about the organization’s mission to empower women driven to succeed in the professional world. Outside of school and work, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with friends, trying new restaurants in the D.C. area, and occasionally traveling home to enjoy the Delaware beaches.

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

Most recently, Donna Paulson. She is a character in my favorite show, Suits, and although Donna is fictional, her ambition has been a great source of motivation for my own professional interests. A respected and influential leader at her firm, Donna is simultaneously the picture of loyalty and compassion. Her dedication to success is what ultimately shapes her career. Donna is smart and assertive, she makes her voice heard, and I feel as though her character has been an enormous inspiration for me in pursuing a career in the field of business.

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

The most valuable component of an internship experience is the opportunity to absorb completely new information – the kind you can’t find in a textbook – and then take it one step further and apply it. Having the chance to work on a team of associates and partners who have ‘been there, done that’ is a unique opportunity that has positively shaped my experience thus far with CLS. In the brief time I have spent researching, reading, and discussing accounts, this internship has steered my career interests in the direction of corporate law and policy, two areas I had never previously considered.

What are your long-term career goals?

I don’t have any specific careers in mind yet, but I’d say my greatest career goals are: driving social-innovation and change through my future work and always feeling stimulated or compelled to continually learn about my field.

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

Perhaps cliché, but certainly what has surprised me the most thus far on my journey towards my career goals is how significantly they have changed. One year ago, I thought I wanted to be a physician, and now that possibility is nowhere on my radar. I have learned though, that surprising myself is what makes the journey more interesting and will hopefully help build a future career based on my own skills and interests.

Can you expand on your interest in public relations?

My interest in public relations stems from my desire to learn more about how the media shapes the direction in which health care policy moves. Scrolling through the news on my phone each day, I wonder who drives home the impact these stories will have – how and why are the words arranged in such a way that they relay a very specific message? I have grown increasingly interested in how the media shapes public policy by driving public perceptions. With my time with CLS, I have also become more interested in the role public relations plays in litigation as well.

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

Multitasking. I enjoy the variety of assignments I’m given and feel as though my sense of organization enables me to tackle more than one project at once. In addition, the constant stream of new information from accounts I am on stimulates my ever-inquisitive self. When there is never a dull moment, I perform my best.

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

Working part-time can be a great challenge when it means playing a bit of catch-up in the mornings after the days I am not here. It can be overwhelming to open my email and see how much there is to read but prioritizing and making lists to stay on top of things has been helpful.

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

It seems like everyone is always on the move – D.C. is an active city. I frequent the waterfront path from Georgetown to the monuments and love to see everyone out and about, especially when the weather is nice.

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 spent this past summer in Italy, studying the intersection of neuroscience and art, specifically Romantic-era portraiture.
  2. I take pride in my knack for organization. People frequently comment about the color coordination of my closet.
  3. I enjoy watercolor painting, and while I was in Italy I painted Tuscan landscapes and sculptures.
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