Windy City PR Pro Lands at ASC


Direct from work in Chicago for the Swedish American Museum, Chicago Sister Cities International Gothenburg Committee and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Lesli Proffitt Nordstrom joined ASC as a Public Relations/Outreach Associate less than two months ago and has already supported outreach and events for the City of White Plains Transit District Study and the New York Power Authority Innovators Summit. Here are 10 things to know about ASC’s newest employee:

1 – From a small town in Kentucky, Lesli is a life-long Wildcats fan in college basketball season. Go Cats!

2 – She helped create a statistical reporting method on property saved by New York City’s Fire Department, a tool later used to inform the public and lawmakers about the value of FDNY’s work.

3 – She was a Senior Editor for the Journal of International Affairs while earning her masters in international affairs at Columbia University.

4 – Lesli is a dual citizen of the United States and Sweden. She’s fluent in Swedish, which means she excels at correctly pronouncing all the product names from the IKEA catalog.

5 – She was a Fulbright Scholar in Sweden studying the impact of UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld’s “quiet diplomacy.”

6 – Lesli loves research! Diving in to any subject is a delight. Just ask her about urban water towers.

7 – She’s traveled to 26 states, Canada, Mexico, Japan, England, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Andorra, Belgium, the Netherlands, Morocco, Egypt, the Gambia, Russia, Austria and Sweden.

8 – In her free time, she likes to go hiking with her family.

9 – She competed in a middle school science fair testing the strength of different bridge designs (made of Balsa wood). She still thinks bridges are very cool.

10 – Lesli recently bought a house and has big plans to make the house more energy efficient, which has her reading about solar panels, geothermal systems and more.

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Remote Access: My Summer at ASC

Nora & Alec

Let me begin this post by explaining the unique situation I was in to land this internship.

Last semester, I was in Milan, Italy, studying marketing and communications at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Awesome school. Great city. Drop what you’re doing and attend for a semester or two. I promise it’s worth it). Anyway, while abroad, I was on the hunt for a summer internship back home, which was not an easy task because most U.S. employers were not interested in the hassle of communicating with a potential intern across the Atlantic. A family friend tipped me off that ASC offers paid internships for college students and, being a past intern, he spoke very highly of the company, so I decided to shoot them an email along with my resume and cover letter. I anxiously awaited a reply and was thrilled when, few days later, I got a response from Nora, who was more than willing to accommodate an international phone interview.

After purchasing Skype minutes for the interview I was feeling confident and prepared for my 7:30 PM (1:30 PM in the States) phone call. 7:30 PM rolled around and, as luck would have it, my phone decided it would not be making any outbound calls at the time. You can imagine the panic I felt. Frantic, I scrambled to find my roommate and borrow his phone. Twelve minutes late, I finally got in contact with Nora. I like to think the interview went well despite the delay, because about a week later, I got an email with an offer for a full-time summer internship with ASC. I was ecstatic and gladly accepted.

I learned later that ASC was in the midst of relocating from their office in Pawling, NY, to White Plains. I was excited to hear this and was looking forward to finally meeting Nora and the rest of the team. On my first day, I walked into the office to a look of shock from Nora because she was amazed by how tall I was! (By phone or in person, I’m 6 foot 3 inches tall.)

From day one, I could tell that this was going to be a very valuable internship to have under my belt. Not having any previous experience in Federal and State agency work made it difficult at first to understand how the business was run (not to mention the plethora of acronyms that are impossible to remember and keep track of). After a week or two of immersion into the business, Allie, Associate Project Manager and Commissioner of Games (see below), really helped me  learn the ropes and got me working on very relevant projects and assignments. (Thanks Allie!) I learned a lot about public awareness and public outreach and some of the secrets of ASC’s success. Here’s one: The devil is in the details. We proofread everything like crazy around here.

Interning for ASC this summer has truly been rewarding. The team has been extremely helpful and considerate to a newbie like me, and I really felt as if I was part of the team. I just want to give a huge shout out to Nora and the entire ASC team for welcoming me into their crazy world of public relations and strategic communications in their new White Plains office. It has truly been a pleasure.

Oh, and a tip for any potential new hires within ASC—make sure you brush up on your Pictionary and word games for lunch/game day every Thursday. They can be very competitive, so come with your A-game.

Alec Iacovelli is a senior at Western Connecticut State University, where he is majoring in Marketing.

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