Paige’s Final Post

I just moved into my first off-campus apartment in City Center!  This was my first summer away from home (Northern Virginia), and I truly enjoyed exploring Newport News more than I ever had before.  Venturing into the city for things like errands and doctor’s appointments felt foreign before, but now that I no longer live on campus, I know where everything is and feel much more confident in my ability to navigate!  It only took me two years. 😉

I have made it a habit to take laps around the City Center fountain every evening since I spend so much of my day sitting.  I often go alone, with a friend, or I bring my roommate’s dog Samson along!  City Center has live music at Cove Tavern on Friday nights in the summer, which has been fun to attend and to hear from my apartment.  Since most of my friends went home for the summer, I made an extra effort to meet my new neighbors and go out to dinner with them often.  I have really enjoyed building personal relationships with individuals of all ages.

I love Chipotle (I learned how to make one burrito bowl stretch into two meals…), Cracker Barrel, Schooner’s, and BJ’s Brewhouse.  I also just discovered (and now love) Yannas’ Taverna, a small Greek restaurant at the corner of Warwick and City Center Blvd – 10/10 would recommend!

I have learned and grown so much from my internship with the CNU Center for Career Planning this summer.  I can’t thank Libby and Andy enough for hiring me and all of the staff members for mentoring me throughout my fifteen weeks with the CCP!  Here is the biggest lesson I would really like to share:

Don’t underestimate yourself.  You are your biggest advocate.  At the end of the day, you know your skills, talents, abilities, and limits better than anyone else.  Showcase your strengths in everything you do and work to strengthen your weaknesses as often as possible.  Make the most of whatever opportunity presents itself to you.  You will surprise yourself.  Keep pushing, keep learning, keep growing.

Although the career services field is not for me, the research aspect of my internship really solidified my decision to continue research in psychology and pursue a graduate degree.  To other students, believe in yourself.  When you fall, get right back up.  There are thousands of Captains supporting you all the way.




Kayla’s Final Post

I am living right in the heart on mid-town east! The subway is just a few blocks up and I can be anywhere in the city in 40 minutes. New York has really awesome markets and concerts going on during the summer. I really love going out on the weekends and walking down the 5 block long open-air market. There are so many handmade crafts and different foods to try. One of my favorite things I have done this summer is sit in the park with friends listening to a free concert. I have also become a regular at the french bistro across the street from my apartment for Saturday brunch. The caprese avocado is by far my favorite! I also made it my mission to try all the different flavored eclairs from the eclair bakery around the corner. So far I have tried a bunch and my favorite are the dark choctaw and the mixed berry come in a close second.
One of the most beneficial skills I gained from the experiences this summer was navigating public transportation. I did not have a car in the city and had very little experience with public transportation. As silly as it seems, being able to navigate the subway and bus system by myself has really given me the confidence to be able to live in a city more permanently by myself. I am also coming out of this summer with a deep understanding of practical goal setting. The mental aspect of dancing each day for 8 hours really is much more challenging than the physical. While overcoming muscular soreness is hard, but achievable, getting out of bed every day at 6:15am and being fully mentally present in each and every dance class for the entire day was much more difficult. So I learned to set very specific and achievable daily goals for each class. Some days my goal would be to improve a skill on a certain side and some days my goal would be to simply not yawn in class. But setting these goals made every day feel like a step forward versus a step back or stagnation.
After spending two months dancing in New York this summer I have decided to apply for graduate school right outside the city. I will be applying to a Dance and Movement Therapy Master’s program in hopes of working with children with developmental disabilities. I am also hoping to continue to study the rich history that underlines modern dance and eventually audition for the Martha Graham Certificate Program and become certified to teach the technique.
My biggest advice to students seeking what they want to do after graduation is to ask yourself the question- do I want to be rich in experience or money? I do not personally think the question has a right or wrong answer, but is something I had to ask myself multiple times this summer. I know being a professional dancer or even a dance therapist, I will never be rich in money, but I have loved getting to be rich in the experiences I have had this summer and the people I have met because of this profession. Every day I am surrounded by incredibly passionate people who have a hunger to create and I am constantly inspired by them.

Grace’s Final Post

During my internship, I was living in Arlington, VA. It’s an interesting mix between a city and the suburbs which I loved. There were many restaurants where I lived so trying new food was always fun. I enjoyed being able to walk everywhere or hop on the bus and get around the city. I was also very close to DC so I visited DuPont Circle several times. I was able to explore some cool bookstores in DC. My company also hosted our scavenger hunt in DuPont Circle which allowed me to see other areas I hadn’t yet explored.

During my 10-week internship, I had the opportunity to work in a field in which I had no prior experience. Working for Cambridge Associates opened my eyes to what career path I wanted to pursue post-graduation. Even though I had a different academic/experiential background, the training week was really informative and helpful, thus allowing me to thrive in my position. That reassured me to not limit myself to jobs in my major, psychology, field. With the right training, I’m confident in my ability to thrive in many different positions. I got some more experience working with people I may not have necessarily gotten along with. While this posed as a hardship, it was an important lesson for me to be exposed to as I prepare to enter the workforce in a couple months. My advice to other interns is to not limit themselves to internships in their field; you’ll be surprised how much you can learn in a different area.

Ashley’s Final Post

This summer I stayed on campus at CNU and commuted around 40 minutes each way.  Although this commute was challenging some days, it was well worth it to live on campus.  After work, I would come back to Newport News and grab some dinner.  Some of my favorite restaurants in this area are Bob-Bob, Zoë’s Kitchen, and Plaza Azteca.  If I choose to grab dinner in Chesapeake instead, I always head to Surf Rider. Surf Rider is a seafood restaurant that has amazing crab cakes.  If anyone is in the Chesapeake area, I highly recommend that restaurant. Thankfully, a few of my friends and my roommate are also staying on campus so it’s nice to have some company.  We all like to ride bikes around the area or walk around the Noland Trail together if we have time after dinner.  On the weekends, I usually head to either the beach, Richmond, or Lake Anna.  I love wakeboarding and other water sports so I head to Lake Anna any chance I get.  I love my job but it’s always nice to wind down and chill in my dorm room after a long day!

These past ten weeks have been such a blessing and an amazing experience.  I remember Google searching what a claims adjuster was just days before my internship.  I came into this role with no knowledge of anything insurance related which was pretty scary.  The biggest lesson I learned was to take risks and don’t rule a job out until you’ve tried it. I pushed myself and took a risk by stepping out of my comfort zone by trying something new and I am so happy that I did.
Not only have I learned all about insurance but now I know all about car parts, how to read and understand legal documents, how to communicate with attorneys, and so much more practical knowledge that will benefit me throughout my career path.  This internship was so much more than just a summer job to put on my resume.  I have gained great interpersonal skills by learning how to communicate effectively with leaders in a Fortune 500 company.  I got experience presenting to Executive Vice Presidents and developed leadership skills and had a blast while doing so.
I was blessed to receive a full time offer from USAA contingent upon my graduation. This was such an honor and I am thrilled to come back and work for such an outstanding company.  Some advice to other students would be to find  a company that you are proud to work for and that reflects your personal values and beliefs.  Try something new and push your personal boundaries.  And most importantly, no matter what role or position you are in, add value and contribute whenever you can.

Nassir’s Final Post

For most of the summer I lived in in Middlesex, New Jersey which is about 45 minutes from the city with my family. But for a while I also stayed with my mentor in Hell’s Kitchen about 5 minutes from Times Square! For fun I’ve visited parks, museums, gone to shows, and have eaten A LOT of food. My two favorite restaurants are without a doubt Madame Vo and Nobu. Incredible food, and the atmosphere was just as fun.

As I look back on the internship I’ve realized that anything truly is possible if you’re willing to put your all into it. I have a better understanding of how to communicate with people professionally. Also, I now have a better understanding of quantitative data and analytics. For me working with a thriving startup was great because now I know exactly what it takes to create one myself and that’s something I’ll always be grateful for. My advice to other students is, if you have a goal or a vision, go for it don’t wait. Take things one step at a time until you get to see that vision come into fruition. The journey is the best part.

Rob’s Final Post

As I walked out of the facility for the final time last week, I was filled with relief and gratitude. I consider myself blessed to have had such an amazing opportunity and to be able to spend my summer doing what I love to do. While this summer was in no way easy, it was worth it. Here are a few takeaways from my summer with the Redskins.

  1. You’ve got to start somewhere. I can safely say I worked my absolute hardest this summer and I know to get where I want to be, I have to be ready to make sacrifices. I worked 50-60 hours a week this summer on average and often found myself working outside of the office a bunch as well. Not all of this work was done for the Redskins, but between two video production internships and continuing my job with CNU’s Athletic Department, it took a lot out of me.
  2. Internships are invaluable but use your time on campus wisely. Being that we’re at a DIII school, sometimes the world doesn’t see our degree the same way they see a degree from schools like Virginia Tech, University of Alabama, or the University of Southern California. What you do have in your favor at a school like CNU is the opportunity to get hands on experience that those DI schools only typically offer to seniors and graduate students. Going into my third year as a broadcaster, I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what level you’re calling games for, it’s all the same sport. Much like in a science lab, it doesn’t matter what school you’re doing the research at, but that you’re doing the research and might have an extra few years to get your hands dirty here than anywhere else. Make the most of the undergraduate opportunities that you have while you have them.
  3. Never stop expanding your network. I spent most of this summer talking to people who are in the business of sports reporting from my own organization and others. While being able to talk to reporters from TV stations all around the state and country, I realized the importance of the relationships you have. Take advantage of career and grad school fairs, because that’s where these relationships start.

I believe this internship was invaluable to my success as a sports journalist and broadcaster. Getting into the business is the hardest part about broadcasting and this internship has gotten my foot in the door. While there is still plenty of work to be done, I know that having the name of a professional sports franchise like the Washington Redskins is a good start to get me where I’m trying to go.

Internship Update from Harris

During the first few weeks of my internship I stayed loyal to a more familiar pattern of activity, one that remained faithful to my daily routine at CNU; I adopted a similar exercise and sleep regimen, while substituting a seven-hour workday in lieu of 17 credit hours of classes.  After recovering from the initial jet-lag, life at AFRICOM didn’t feel much different than life at college.

However, it didn’t take more than a few weeks before the exercise-work-sleep routine became unbearably monotonous, and I soon felt the need to do something more befitting of a summer abroad in a foreign land.  Lucky for me, there are about 15 other AFRICOM interns besides myself – many of whom have lived in Germany for the majority of their lives – so there’s never a shortage of recommendations about exciting weekend getaways.

Two weeks ago, myself and a cadre of fellow interns impulsively booked a train ticket to the nearby town of Kornwestheim to attend the annual color festival.  (A wonderful fact I’ve learned since living in Germany is that there is never less than a dozen different festivals occurring on any given weekend within just a few hours train-ride, each of which is guaranteed to be worthy of at least a day-long excursion). According to the pamphlets I had seen online, the festival appeared to be a hybrid between a typical outdoor concert and a parade, with the prime event involving every member of the crowd throwing powdered paint balls at one another at the conclusion of every hour. (The festival ran from 10:00am to 10:00pm).  As it turned out, the festival was exactly that: part concert, part parade, and a paintball balloon war every hour.  

While I only attended the latter half of this particular festival, I was struck by the diversity of not only the activities – which ranged from countless body painting booths and tattoo shops to the largest bouncy castle and slip and slide I’ve ever seen – but also the people.  There were just as many six year olds on the bouncy castle as there were teenagers getting tattoos and twenty somethings taking shots at the 40-seater outdoor bar.

Interestingly, I later discovered that the festival was actually a westernized version of a religious event known as a Holi festival, which is a traditional Indian celebration involving the dowsing of participants with multi-colored dyes. Needless to say, the Holi festival was an experience that I will never forget, and it remains one of my most fond memories of my time in Germany.  (And the great news is that there are more weekends to go and other festivals to explore!)

Life as an Intern: Grace

Internship Update 3: What is life like as an intern? Are you meeting other interns? What types of social activities have you participated in? What are some things the company/site has done to make you feel part of the team?

The nine interns at this internship have been assigned to the two teams that work on the Data and Reporting Process: MIG and PRG. Myself and three other interns work on the PRG team. Analysts will often come to us asking for our help with running and bundling reports, setting up and updating benchmarks, and other assignments that ease up their workload. Because of this, our intern workload is somewhat dependent on other analysts, making the intern life somewhat touch and go. However, we have other assignments that have been built into the internship such as monthly presentations. We’ve been gearing up for our final 45-min presentation in which PRG and MIG interns work together. Another collaborative project was the community service dog-toy making party we had a month ago. This assignment brought the PRG and MIG teams together as they all donated rags and shirts for this event and came out during their lunch break to make dog toys!

The teams that we work with here at Cambridge have been so welcoming! We often have coffee breaks with our mentors on slow days. Some individual teams that we get assigned to will include us on their breakfast calendar and surprise us with free food in the morning which is always fun! The PRG team is doing a competitive scavenger hunt in Dupont Circle soon from 1-3 pm with Happy Hour from 3-5; we’ve been separated into different themed teams which is a fun bonus! Last but not least, the company paid for our tickets to a Nats game awhile back which was a great time!

Life as an Intern: Rob

Internship Update 3: What is life like as an intern? Are you meeting other interns? What types of social activities have you participated in? What are some things the company/site has done to make you feel part of the team?

This summer has been an interesting one, as I start to wrap up my internship. Life as an intern is just that, interesting. I say it a lot when explaining what I do, every day is different and the office dynamic has provided a place where interns are typically welcomed as part of the team. Yes, there are times where menial intern tasks are piled on our desks, but just as frequently we are included in the big picture things the department is trying to accomplish.

I have had the pleasure of working alongside three other interns this summer from around the country. One came from the University of Southern California, one from the University of Alabama, and one from Virginia Tech. It has been an enjoyable experience not only meeting and getting to know, but networking with these interns in my own department as well as interns in other departments around the office.

Holistically, work and play are very much two different things. We don’t typically hang out, outside of the office, though occasionally I’ll convince one of them to go to lunch with me. There has been a very clear dynamic and feeling around the office that nobody wants to be the ‘bad intern’ so nobody likes to leave for lunch. Nor do they leave when their shifts end. A culture was created that if your shift starts at 10 and ends at 3, most of the time an intern would arrive at 9:45 and leave around 4 or 4:30. This made the office relatively cramped because we tried to fit more people in the small room than necessary or than we had tasks to complete for. So, I left most days when I was supposed to. This made me the ‘bad intern’ even though I typically found myself going above and beyond while I was there.

Overall, my summer with the Redskins has been enjoyable mostly because of the people I had the pleasure of working alongside. The department has been very inclusive for the most part and has treated interns not only like adults but as a part of their team. Working on big production products, TV features, and commercials are just a few of the productions I got a taste of this summer. Being able to experience some of these things has been not only a cool experience but invaluable to my future success as well.

Life as an Intern: Kayla

Internship Update 3: What is life like as an intern? Are you meeting other interns? What types of social activities have you participated in? What are some things the company/site has done to make you feel part of the team?

Life as an intern: Being an intern is a lot of fun because I get to try out and learn new aspects of the company each week. I really enjoy the variety because it is making me well rounded and also makes going to the studio every day interesting. I do not feel tied down to one specific job and have a lot of freedom to choose what I want to learn more about. Having the chance to learn about so many aspects of a company and about the dance community in general, has really helped me identify what I am good at and what I am specifically passionate about to further narrow what I want to do when I graduate.

Have I met other interns: The dance community, especially in New York, is very tight knit. While I spend a great deal of time with the other girls in the program at my specific school, I have had the chance to meet students in programs at other dance companies as well. I recently met a dancer interning with the Paul Taylor Company this summer and was able to go support her at her repertoire showcase. Each week I pick a different company and go take one or two classes at the school and attend one of the many free summer performances.
Feeling a part of the team: Right away everyone was so welcoming! They continuously asked me about Virginia and school and really took the time to get to know me outside of dance. We all eat lunch together on the balcony of the building and go out for dinner on Fridays together each week. Since none of us are originally from New York, we have also been able to explore the city together. We go to museums, see performances, and go to concerts in the park together.