Alex was born in Moscow, Russia, but has called Maryland home since he was about 13 months old. A rising junior at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, Alex is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in communication with minors in international studies and history. He attended high school just outside Washington, D.C., which exposed him to a variety of different cultures and sparked his early interest in foreign affairs and public relations. Alex is also a fan of everything sports related, and he also happens to be a bit of a history buff.
1. Who/what has had the most impact on your academic or professional interests?
My Introduction to International Studies professor was the first person to really expose me to foreign affairs and everything that field has to offer. I was originally interested in Business Administration, but after constantly participating in class, my professor encouraged me to take a public affairs or communication course. Once I was introduced to what the communication major had to offer at my school, I immediately switched majors and I have been pursuing public relations and consulting ever since.
2. What do you look for in an internship experience, and how has this shaped your career goals?
This internship is my first real exposure to the professional world. Not knowing exactly what to expect, I knew I wanted to find an internship that would introduce me to the public relations world, and I really wanted to find an internship in a big city. Most importantly, I was looking for an internship that would not only challenge me, but also educate me in a field that I’m increasingly learning more about in the classroom.
3. What are your long-term career goals?
I would love to work in operations consulting on an international scale. I have always been interested in foreign affairs, so being able to help resolve issues for clients around the world would be a great way to be exposed to diverse cultures while helping solve complex problems.
4. What has surprised you so far about your journey towards your career goals?
While taking different courses last semester, I realized how many other fields are intertwined with public relations and consulting. For example, many of my communication courses have contained aspects of marketing, international relations and politics. I was amazed to learn just how many different pieces are part of public relations and consulting as a whole.
5. Can you expand on your interest in public relations?
Going into my freshman year of college, I knew very little about public relations. One of my friends told me to watch the show House of Lies, and while it doesn’t quite go into how much work is entailed in consulting, the show did give some insight into what consulting might be like. My interest in this show combined with my professor’s encouragement got me to really dive into the communication major and give it a real go. Since then, my knowledge and interest in the field has only continued to grow.
6. What comes easiest to you as an intern at CLS Strategies?
My ability to effectively listen in on conversations in meetings has proven to be very helpful. I have found that the meetings here offer extremely valuable insight and have increased my knowledge about each case I work on in the office. I have also developed stronger, more effective research techniques that have allowed to improve my ability to contribute to my teams as much as I possibly can.
7. What has been your biggest challenge as an intern at CLS Strategies? How do you address that?
My biggest challenge has been catching up with all the news and materials related to each case. All the associates on each case has had the time to really learn about each client’s needs, and I have spent a significant portion of my time researching each case to learn as much as I can.
8. What is your favorite thing about living in Washington, D.C.?
I grew up right outside the city, and I always love coming home in the summer and being able to spend time exploring new parts that I never got to see when I was younger. Another thing I enjoy about being back in the area is being exposed to all the different people and cultures the city has to offer. Getting the chance to meet and learn about other people is a great way to build relationships with people from all over.
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 am a founding member of my fraternity’s chapter at my school.
2. My favorite hobby is cooking, and my best dish is Steak Diane.
3. I’m loyal to most Washington sports teams, but I am also an avid Vegas Golden Knights hockey fan.