CLS News
February 14, 2020

Khadija Butt is a senior at American University double majoring in Political Science and Spanish Studies. She grew up in South Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina before moving to Washington, D.C. in 2016. Before joining CLS, she was a Digital Communications Fellow at BluShark Digital, where she focused on developing SEO and Google PPC skills. She was also a Legal Studies Fellow for the American University Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, where she helped draft expert declarations for the immigration process.

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

a.       Throughout my academic and professional experiences, I’ve had plenty of mentors who have helped shape my interests. I’ve loved almost every single professor I’ve had during my academic career at American, but I’ll list just a few here. Susan Glover, Núria Vilanova, Amelia Tseng and Chip Gerfen have shaped my academic interests in international relations, international communications and linguistics, and I’ve taken classes with all multiple times. I can’t thank them enough for the impact they’ve left on me. Professionally, my parents have always pushed me to be the best version of myself I can be, and I’m grateful to have been surrounded by so many amazing mentors at past internships and jobs who have taught me everything I know now.  

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

I believe the most valuable part of an internship is the transferable skills you gain to take to future positions and experiences. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work at a firm where I can learn something new every day, and I try to make the most of it as much as possible.

3.       What are your long-term career goals?

I still have no idea what I want my long-term career goals are, but right now, I would like to work in international relations, hopefully in international development or communications focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean.

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

What has surprised me the most is how much my goals have changed since I started university in 2016. I thought I wanted to go to law school straight afterwards, but as I completed different internships, I realized law wasn’t my only passion. The biggest thing I’ve taken away from my professional experiences is that your career will not be a linear path, and for me, it was best to look at opportunities to gain experience in many different fields.

5.       Can you expand on your interest in public relations?

I haven’t been interested in public relations until recently, but it really fascinates me how media can shape public opinion and I found myself wanting to learn more about the field. Public relations play such a significant role in day-to-day life and it’s exhilarating that every single day is different. The possibilities under the umbrella of public relations feels infinite, and it’s something I would like to pursue in the future.

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

Being flexible throughout the day is something that has come easy to me. Each account is unique in its needs, so being able to switch gears quickly while prioritizing tasks and keeping an open mind is essential.

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

So far, my biggest challenge as an intern would have to be working on so many different accounts at once and learning how to balance the tasks that come with them. Staying organized, understanding how to prioritize and communicating with the teams have been important skills to learn and execute.

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

My favorite thing about living in Washington, D.C. is that there is constantly something new to do. I love to check out new restaurants and galleries at museums!

9.       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’m half Dutch Caribbean and half Pakistani. People always ask how my parents met and I just say Miami.

2.       I speak English, Papiamentu and Spanish. I love learning new languages, and I’m currently learning Portuguese and Urdu.

3.       I love Haribo candy and my absolute favorite is Twin Snakes.


CLS News
January 31, 2020

  

Eduardo was born in Tlaxcala, the smallest state in Mexico, and moved moved to Oxnard, California at the age of 5. He’s the middle child of four, including one older sister and two younger. Eduardo majored in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. During the last quarter of his undergraduate career, he participated in a program, UCDC, that connected University of California student to Washington, D.C. in September. About three weeks before the program ended and Eduardo was set to return to California, he decided to shift gears and stay in D.C. instead, where he started looking for internship opportunities and found CLS
 

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

My professors, Juan Manuel Pedroza (Sociology) and Russell Rodriguez (Anthropology), have heavily influenced both my academic and professional interests. The areas of research that they focus on are incredibly interesting, and I hope to be a part of both those fields at some point in the future. They are incredible role models, and I am very grateful for all the support they have shown me.

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

Growth is very important to me when it comes to the internships I’ve had. I enjoy learning, being challenged and opportunities to develop new skills is very important to me. I want to make sure that I have an extensive repertoire of skills that I can carry throughout my professional career, wherever I may end up.

  1. What are your long-term career goals?

This is something that I still have not fully figured out yet. I know I want to help people, but I have yet to figure out exactly how want to do this.

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

I think the support I have felt from everyone I work with is the thing that has surprised me the most. I’ve had many conversations that make the professional world seem scary, but luckily, I have met so many people that have made the transition into the professional sector less intimidating than I feared it might be.

  1. Can you expand on your interest in public relations?

Before interning at CLS, I had minimal knowledge about the world of public relations. The amount of work that is done in this industry amazes me. I enjoy seeing how everyone comes together to bring forth impeccable work. My interest in this field continues to grow, and I can definitely say that I am mesmerized by public relations.

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

I’m not going to lie – nothing comes to mind. There have been some assignments that have been easier than others, but so far, everything has challenged me. I’ve learned so much here so far. I’m glad that I am being challenged, and I look forward to all the knowledge that I will eventually gain from my time at CLS.

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

Trying to get up to speed with everything going on across different accounts has probably been the hardest part of being an intern. Although it has been challenging, I enjoy it. It keeps my days interesting.

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

I have always lived in very relaxed areas, so the change of pace to a more bustling city is refreshing.

  1. 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 can play the violin and guitarron, which is an acoustic base often used in mariachi.
    2. On most Saturdays, I volunteer to tutor high school and middle school students under the supervision of a local D.C. nonprofit.
    3.  There are YouTube videos of me online from high school when I performed with my school’s mariachi group.

CLS News
January 29, 2020

Are you eager to design a website for a presidential campaign, influence national audiences with compelling online visuals, or produce videos viewed by millions? If so, then you should apply to join the CLS team. In this hands-on position, you would help produce creative solutions at the intersection of politics, public policy and communications.

We are looking for a creative, self-motivated individual to join our team as a Digital Design & Production Associate. This is an opportunity to be a crucial part of our team by:

  • Designing ads, website properties, social media graphics and more
  • Creating campaign branding
  • Working on multiple projects simultaneously
  • Creating quality deliverables in a fast-paced work environment
  • Communicating and collaborating with a team
  • Assisting with the day-to-day operations of the digital team

Candidates for this position should have 1-2 years of professional experience and an interest in creative services and public affairs, with an emphasis on graphic design. Candidates who have the following skills are a good fit:

  • Proficient in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign
  • Video editing software
  • Extremely detail-oriented and well-organized
  • Familiar with current design trends
  • Can provide a portfolio of recent design samples
  • Experience with HTML/CSS and various content management systems (CMS)

If you are eager to learn, enjoy coming up with creative solutions, and want to get real-world design experience with political and non-profit clients, you may be the right candidate! Interested applicants should apply by clicking the button below. Be sure to include a copy of your resume and design portfolio (or link to your online portfolio) in the email. 


CLS News
September 20, 2019



Alejandra was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where she lived her entire life before deciding to move to D.C. last year to pursue her master’s degree at George Washington University in Nuclear Policy and Security. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Universidad de Puerto Rico recinto de Rio Piedras, where she student Political Science with an emphasis in Foreign Relations and a minor in Foreign Languages. Alejandra speaks Spanish, English, French and Portuguese.
 

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

As far as academic impact goes, I would say my professor of International Diplomacy, Jose Rivera Gonzalez, my International Theory professor, Mayra Velez, and my professor in Theory, Raul Cotto, are all amazing human beings who have had the most impact on my own interests. They taught me such passion for International Affairs, and I am forever grateful for the education they gave me. Another professor that had a major impact on me was Dr. Kassenova, who works in the nuclear policy field and sparked my interest in nuclear studies.

2. 
What do you look for in an internship experience, and how has this shaped your career goals?

I always look for growth professionally and personally. Being able to have experiences that add to your growth will give you tools to achieve many things in your job but also in your life.  

3. 
What are your long-term career goals?

I would like to work on the Hill, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), here at CLS or another PR and communications firm.

4. 
What has surprised you so far about your journey towards your career goals?

Can I say everything? I’ve been surprised about essentially everthing I’ve seen myself capable of doing and learning.  

5. Can you expand on your interest in public relations? 

To be honest, I never imagined I was going to work in the PR industry. However, I’ve only been here a few days and I already love it. It takes so much research and precision to get everything right. I like working behind the scenes in the background, making sure everything is well played out.

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

Reading and studying all the materials for the different accounts, as well as doing research.

7. 
What has been your biggest challenge as an intern at CLS Strategies? How do you address that?

Jumping in and catching up with all the information that has happened on the various accounts. To help with this, I really take my time between meetings and projects to get as up to date as I can, and by asking questions to team members.

8. 
What is your favorite thing about living in Washington, D.C.?

Living where national laws are made and where all the political action happens.

9. 
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’m a professional binge watcher. I love television series and movies and talking about it constantly. Fun fact: I can study while having a series on in the background.
  2. I love yoga; I’ve been doing it for more than 2 years now.
  3. I’m a Star Wars fan, but I strongly dislike the new movies.

 


CLS News
August 5, 2019
 

 
Lindsey Bornstein is an incoming senior at the University of Miami studying Political Science and Journalism. She is originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Before joining CLS, she interned with Congressman Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) in Miami, FL, and with the U.S. Department of Energy’s marketing & communications team in Washington, D.C. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a career in political communications in the nation’s capital.  
 
1. Who/what has had the most impact on your academic or professional interests?  
 
Several professional mentors, including the team here at CLS, have shaped my vision of the private sector as a function for good; in a fast-paced, dynamic work environment, individuals and organizations can partner to affect direct, positive change that sometimes gets stalled under the hands of the government. In this way, my mentors have not only provided me with insight and opportunity, but also with a concrete professional direction.
 
2. What do you look for in an internship experience, and how has this shaped your career goals? 
 
When I sought to work in the nation’s capital, I looked for an organization where I could move quickly in many proverbial jars at once. However, professional development was also important to me, so I looked to CLS as a medium-sized organization which offered the chance to collaborate with the organization’s most accomplished team members as well.  To me, the value and nature of personal relationships is a crucial determination of future success in a company.
 
3. What are your long-term career goals?
 
Upon graduation, I hope to remain in Washington, D.C. with a focus in either political communications or public policy crafting. In the long term however, I’d love the opportunity to do political or legal advocacy for emerging causes across the globe.  
 
4. What has surprised you so far about your journey towards your career goals?  
 
As an incoming freshman, I had planned to study communications as a foray into the field of sports broadcasting. However, I very quickly realized a passion for political and legal communications instead, and I guess I’m surprised I haven’t kept more of a pulse on professional sports news.
 
5. Can you expand on your interest in public relations? 
 
One thing that’s surprised me about my time at CLS has been the enormous research burden that goes into political and professional communications. In order to develop public relations strategy for a Fortune 500 company, public policy campaign or legal endeavor, public relations professionals may devote countless hours to fully understand complex relationships, professional dynamics and regulatory history surrounding an issue to craft a short statement or press release. At CLS, I’ve been able to fully appreciate the level of detail and multifaceted understanding required of public relations experts.
 
6. What comes easiest to you as an intern at CLS Strategies?  
 
As a process-oriented individual, I appreciate the nature of CLS’s execution-focused infrastructure. Although I’ve gained a great deal of insight into branding and strategy, my true strength lies in the ability to take a project from its conception and turn it into a fully researched, polished product.
 
7. What has been your biggest challenge as an intern at CLS Strategies? How do you address that?  
 
The biggest challenge at CLS has been trying to fully understand the background required to accommodate each client’s needs; in addition to daily news briefings on each account, I spend a significant portion of time researching to gain a broader picture of relevant industries.
 
8. What is your favorite thing about living in Washington, D.C.?  
 
No matter who I talk to, every individual living and working in Washington has an ambitious, earnest interest in making the world a better place. The collective drive consistently motivates me not only to work harder in my own career, but also to learn more about others’ pursuits that might not necessarily make front page news. 
 
9. 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 serve as the Executive Editor of UM’s lifestyle magazine, Distraction.
2. This past spring, I spent four months living with a host family in Seville, Spain and traveled to 10 different countries.
3. I finally got peer pressured into watching Game of Thrones after all eight seasons had ended (whoops).