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Among other things, a day-trip to Spain

January 31, 2012   

So I've now been in DC for just over two weeks, and I'm really enjoying getting into the swing of things. Activity at my internship at National Strategies is ramping up, as would be expected. At the beginning, I was almost exclusively working in a support role, performing market research for the higher-ups at the firm and summarizing various reports and information for them. As we move further into the semester though, and I gain a better understanding of the workings of the company as well as the types of clients we assist, I can expect to be involved more directly with client teams and take on a more substantive role at work. Also, as we gain more familiarity with some of the folks at the firm and they with me, I can begin to work on things that are more aligned with my interest areas, which is one of the major reasons I decided to intern with NSI. More on that to follow, so stay posted.

A signal of taking a more involved role at the company came yesterday. National Strategies is constantly on the lookout for expanding its clientele, both within the country and abroad. So it was with yesterday morning, when my boss invited me to join him and another staffmember to a meeting at the Spanish Embassy on Pennsylvania Ave, less than a mile from the White House. Essentially, the head of the Economic Department at the Embassy was playing matchmaker with National Strategies and Spanish companies looking to expand in the United States, matching NSI's areas of expertise with emerging Spanish companies. This was the first embassy I'd ever been in, and it was pretty cool to see the company interact with an international representative, and one so prominent, at that. I look forward to being a part of the developments that occur as a result of this, and really get a chance to see how NSI does business.

It's not all work in DC though, and with time to kill every day after work and on the weekends, my roommate and I continue to explore the city, which seems to offer a new adventure every day. A few days ago, for example, around 9 pm we spontaneously decided to take a casual bike ride around the city, and specifically to the monuments, owing to the surprisingly mild weather that night. And so, off we went, passing under the streetlights of an uncharacteristically vacant Downtown (at least for us, given we're used to seeing it during a workday) and to the National Mall. The city, as expected, does a great job of lighting the monuments at night, and our three main destinations were the White House, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial. Sure, we had seen these before, during the day, but seeing them at night offers a very different experience. The Washington Monument, as per usual, towers over most of the city, but the floodlights at the base of the obelisk make it seem much grander in scope. The Lincoln Memorial, similarly, seems much more pristine as the white marble stands out against the backdrop of the night sky. The ride home was memorable too, as the chance to see the city free of the usual crowds and traffic allowed me to take everything in a little more fully and get acquainted with my home for the next few months.