Here is a little bit about me before we dive into things. I am a rising senior at Villanova University. This summer, I interned for Knucklepuck — an integrated digital media start-up agency — in Ballston,a neighborhood of Arlington. I also lived in Clarendon, another neighborhood in Arlington, during this 11-week internship.
So, what has an internship in Arlington taught me?
1. Be a Sponge – This is a good motto for life, but specifically in an internship. At a start-up, I was able to be a part of almost every aspect of the business. Since the landscape of digital marketing changes so rapidly, I was able to keep busy by adapting to new training and new strategies. This allowed for an incredibly hands-on experience — I definitely did not go get anyone’s coffee. I created content for websites, provided strategy recommendations to clients, helped create strategy for new initiatives, guest-starred in an SEO and Digital Marketing podcast, attended digital marketing networking events… The list goes on and on.
This motto also applies to living in Arlington. Growing up in mostly rural areas, I absorbed the quick-paced life of a bustling county. Every day after work, I would stop by the 11th Street Park and watch people play with their dogs. Often, as a treat, I would stop by Bakeshop, right under my apartment. It’s little things like this that make your experience memorable.
2. Network – Networking is something you should always be doing — it can never hurt to know more people! As a rising senior, I am on the job hunt. Interning at a company that pushed me to be a part of the community and go to networking events really helped me grow my personal network and the network of the company. I attended theDC Digital Analytics June 2016 Meet Up. At this event alone, I got six business cards and learned a lot about the industry. For anyone who wants to connect with their community, going to networking events is definitely recommended.
3. Go to the Food Trucks – The food trucks on N. Stuart Street and Fairfax Drive are probably the only reason I survived (food-wise) this summer. Trucks come every day around lunch time and our team at Knucklepuck would always go on a “trek to the trucks,” even though it was only two blocks away. This is a must-do if you work/intern in the Ballston area!
4. Visit as Many Sites as You Can – This is one thing I wanted to do but did not take advantage of as much as I should have! The Arlington area is close to the nation’s capital. Just hop on the Orange Line and you will be there in a jiffy, with any monument, museum or cultural event right at your fingertips. I know I visited all the “touristy” monuments, but I was also able to go to the Arlington National Cemetery for the first time to visit a distant relative’s grave.
Hopefully some of these insights help you understand Arlington a little more! For me, living and interning in Arlington never disappointed, and I am planning to come back post-grad. I lived above a little bakery and a wine bar — what more could a girl ask for?