Before Going Abroad: Summer 2017 at a Glance

Jennifer Zhang
August 23, 2017
Thank you!

As I sit at home in sunny Los Angeles and prepare to leave for Europe tomorrow, I wanted to reflect back on my first summer in D.C. The decision to stay in the District over the summer was undoubtedly one of the best I have made, because it led to a challenging but productive three months.

My spring internship with Peace Corps was extended into the summer, and I spent most of my time supporting the training and travel logistics of three IT-education conferences with participants from 26 countries. Throughout my six months there, I communicated with and gathered information from over 80 overseas staff from 65+ posts daily, tracked staff’s Continuing Education credits, and published four issues as Assistant Editor of ITSbits (Office of Chief Information Officer’s monthly newsletter). It was incredible to have this opportunity as just a sophomore in college, and just goes to show that there are countless opportunities in D.C.! On my last day, Marion, my main point of contact, took me out to lunch and gave me a letter with so many thank you's from our office! My time as an intern here was wonderful because Marion trusted me to produce quality work on a timely manner, which in turn made this work relationship very strong and healthy.

I was privileged to also intern at Consero Group, an events service company in Bethesda, Maryland, where I learned everything from updating leads on Salesforce, auditing competitors, conducting research for CLE credits for our 3-day forums and 1-day roundtables, and making an idea into a possible strategic plan. Thank you to Paul, our CEO, and Tara, our Operations Manager, for giving me the opportunity to intern here. The work culture and team members at Consero are truly amazing, which made my experience there that much better.

On the evenings, I was a Brand Ambassador for Getaround, where I promoted the mobile app through grassroots marketing at gelato shops, car washes, coffee shops, movie nights, etc. This was such a fun gig because not only did I get competitive pay, I learned how to sales pitch effectively, navigate through different situations, and ultimately get potential customers onboard.

And lastly, but just as importantly, I babysat three kids in Chevy Chase for two afternoons every week! The parents are wonderful people, and the kids are clever, funny, kind, genuine, competitive, and just so quirky! I have always loved kids and babysat kids of family friends for fun (and for free), but “professional” babysitting was new and exciting for me! I would definitely do it again. 

Ultimately, I would say that when my internships and part-time jobs have ended by Wednesday, August 16, I was both relieved and sad. Relieved because it was exhausting. Sad because it was exhausting in the best way possible.

However, my mother has always said “Good things can’t come if you don’t let old ones go," which is true. I am so excited and nervous for my adventures abroad, which officially starts tomorrow! 

Catch you on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, 


Jennifer Zhang

<p style="margin-bottom:12.0pt">Hello and welcome! I am so excited to share my abroad adventures with you here. My love for travel (integrating into different cultures, trying new food, ~attempting~ to pick up languages quickly) + dream of studying abroad in London = eager Jen who truly thinks this will be an experience of a lifetime. With that said... HERE. WE. GO!!<span style="text-autospace:none"><span style="font-size:16.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Times&quot;,serif"> </span></span></span></p>

2017 Fall
Home University:
American University
San Gabriel, CA
Business Administration
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