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Summer Interns Discuss Their CRA Experiences

Aug 18, 2023

This summer, CRA had the opportunity to add to our team two interns, Arielle Andrews and Rachel Houchins. We give our interns the opportunity to jump into projects and apply their educational knowledge by working with our project teams. They have produced some amazing results, and we couldn’t be prouder of the work they provided and to see how their careers will flourish.  

We sat down with Arielle and Rachel to share a little about what they learned, what they enjoyed, and how they hope to continue growing in their careers. 


What College/University do/did you attend?  

Arielle: Virginia Commonwealth University   

Rachel: I attended West Virginia University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with an area of emphasis in Social Media and Communication Technology. I graduated in December of 2022. I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications with a specialization in Creative Strategy through West Virginia University’s online program. I expect to graduate in 2024. 

What made you choose an internship with CRA?  

Arielle: I liked how CRA worked with large and small companies ranging from local to countrywide. This mix introduced me to the different strategies required for serving various needs. Also, the fact that CRA is women-owned appealed to my personal aspirations. 

Rachel: I have always been interested in working for an agency because of the opportunity to work on multiple projects for multiple clients all at once. CRA not only offers these opportunities but also allows you to work with different departments within the company – for example, the Media team. As a result of these things, I chose to pursue an internship with CRA because of the endless opportunities for growth, networking, and skillset development that this agency provides.  

Which project taught you the most?  

Arielle: I worked on a research project for one of CRA’s education and workforce development clients. Learning to analyze data from the perspective of a marketer was extremely insightful. I was able to look at huge swathes of information and think, “Okay, what can I learn from this? What can this tell us about future strategies?”   

Rachel: I genuinely believe each project I completed during my internship provided me with some facet of learning. However, the two projects that are prominently embedded into my brain are learning how to create a content master document and learning the functions of WordPress to input website listings. Both projects gave me hands-on experience with useful skills that I will be able to utilize within my career.  

What’s a new skill you learned from your internship?  

Arielle: I learned how to edit my copy to the essential! What do people need to know? What’s the most effective, influential, and stylish way to write that? 

Rachel: I have heavily improved my Excel skills. I also have learned how to effectively proof preview links as well as create content master documents, participate in research projects, and engage with clients during formal meetings.  

How do you see this internship furthering your career?  

Arielle: I hope to work as a communications specialist after I graduate in December. Much of the work I did at CRA helped prepare me to think critically about communicating with various audiences.   

Rachel: I have learned a lot of valuable skills throughout the course of my internship. So much information was embedded into my brain within three months, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. This opportunity provided me with a solid foundation to progress in furthering my career.  

What’s one tip you would give to future interns?  

Arielle: Ask questions! The folks at CRA are here to help, and it’s always good to get their insight.   

Rachel: Questions … Ask lots and lots of questions! Don’t be afraid to step outside the box as well and let your creative ideas and recommendations for projects be known to your coworkers. Pay attention to detail and really take the entire experience in. It will fly by! 

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