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Always learning, always wondering, always sharing!

Dunagan Does DC - One Last Time

My 2019 Summer internship has officially come to an end. I’m on my last week at BRAVO! and more specifically I’m on my last day. This summer and these past 10 weeks at BRAVO! went by really quickly. I am a believer that everything happens for a reason and this summer proved that once again. When I took this internship I didn’t know really what to expect but I became a BRAVO! girl and I am so happy that I did. If I had not done this then I would not have met the other BRAVO! interns, Amani and Marie, (who make me laugh every day at work) and of course Nancy, the Founder and CEO of BRAVO!, who was more like a leader then my boss and contributed to this great experience, she taught me so much about her business philosophy and company, the working world, and life all together.

Living in DC is a whole different experience than just living close by (I grew up 35 miles away) or going to school in the mountains. To me, DC has always been a place that was nearby and I didn’t think super exciting. If I wanted to make a day trip, I could and it wouldn't be a big deal. It was always there and I didn’t take advantage of being so close to the nation’s capital. Living here this summer I learned there are so many things to do. I experienced the monuments, went to the museums, met a bunch of different people from all over the place, and ate lots of food I had never tried before and so much more. I lived with three roommates 2 from Florida and 1 from Maine. It was fun to live with people who came from other places and had different experiences from me. Anna & Ashton live in Florida and had never seen mountains, they talked about how they think mountains were “soooooo cool” and how they would love to go and see them. I go to school in the mountains, I drive right through them to get to school, so I found it odd and kind of funny to hear them rave about mountains when to me it is so normal. Gabby is from Maine and see thought this was pretty funny too. It got me to thinking about what in Florida would surprise me if I were to go there. Living so close to the beach that it is only 15 minutes away, like one of them does, would definitely be a different experience than living in the mountains or even in a city. There are so many more experiences and differences we have because we all come from different places and have lived different lives, but we all ended up together in DC this summer.

Recently, I went to the Artechouse, it is this really cool art space for immersive and interactive art exhibitions. The “exhibits” are experiential and exploratory art. When you go you are part of the art, you watch the wall form and when you move the art moves and creates different images. It was almost like I was hypnotized and couldn’t look away, take a look at the picture to see what I mean. This looks like it is an actual sculpture, but it is really just a screen that was constantly moving and this is just one still snap shot of it. It was a really cool experience and I highly recommend you go if you’re here. This is just one of the many things I did over the past few weeks. I guess I was wrong because I learned DC has so much to offer and you won’t go a day without something to do.

I did lots of different things as an intern at BRAVO!, from research, meetings, tastings and more. One of the cool and fun things I got to experience was I attended BizBashLiveDC. Biz Bash is an online magazine for the event industry. Earlier this summer, I explored their site so I knew a little of what they were about before going. They are an online magazine and company for event professionals to help them with their events from innovative products, new technology, creative ideas and so much more. This was an all-day conference here in DC (they have them in NY, LA & Miami too) for the event industry. Each city had a different theme, DC’s was cherry’s, (think cherry blossoms and the theme of planting a seed). Nancy (my boss), was invited to speak on an entrepreneurs panel at the event. It was very inspiring to see her on stage being praised for her work and sharing her experiences being an entrepreneur. She was part of a panel discussion with 3 others industry leaders, the Founders of Artechouse, Social Tables and the CEO of Captivate Marketing Group. The moderator, BizBash Editor, Beth Kormanik led the discussion where the panel answered questions and gave insights on why they became an entrepreneur, their experiences and their knowledge about the events industry and business. Afterwards, so many people came up and told us how they thought she did such a great job up on stage, everyone in the audience loved her. What resonated most with me was Nancy sharing that before she started in the event industry she was in sales, making a lot of money and was really “successful”, but it was not what her passion was and she needed to focus on that for her to be successful on her terms. It was proof to go and do what you love, love what you do and not to settle. Also, it showed the audience that you might not find what you love right away or on someone else’s schedule or when society makes you think you should know what you want for the rest of your life, this was so helpful and refreshing for me to hear.. There were many different speakers from the CEO of Track Maven, to a mentalist and illusionist. I got to meet many people with different jobs and careers, but all relating to events. It gave me an understanding that you can work in the event field without being a full on event planner. Then we went to an after party on a roof top overlooking the Capitol, back in Ellicott City, people don’t hang out on roof tops, but in DC people do and I must admit it was pretty cool up there. The whole day was a cool experience and one of the highlights from my internship experience. There were many more too

One little thing that I realized this summer is that this might be the most I have been called Jessica in my entire life. As long as I can remember, and my parents have told me since I was a baby, I have always gone by Jesse. I introduce myself as Jesse, I usually write Jesse, and everyone always knew me as Jesse. People call me Jess of course because it’s less syllables and easy to say, but for the most part I have always been Jesse. When I got to college, people began calling me JD, because a girl on my soccer team was also Jessie, so it got confusing, as you can imagine, and JD (my initials) came about and it stuck. Now I am here and Jessica is what everyone at my internship calls me. I mentioned Jesse was my name the very first day, but everyone seemed to keep calling me Jessica and that is what stuck as my name. When I was younger, I had pictured myself possibly using my 'full' name when I grew up and was older, I guess that time is now. I have officially grown up from my younger self and my younger name. I am now Jessica. Nice to meet you lol

This summer has been a fun journey for me, I got to experience so much. Some on my own as I would go around DC by myself, some with friends who came to visit, some with my room-mates, and some with my fellow interns. I feel as if I have grown a significant amount in my independence being in DC. At home or at school, I always do things with my friends or someone I know. This summer was a lot more of me doing things by myself and being more independent from anyone. People always say that going to college will make you more independent because you are going off on your own away from home for the fist time. When I first went to college, I never really felt that, but this summer I feel I have experienced more independent growth in myself than ever before and more than when I first went off to college. Now I enter my last year of college with a bitter sweet feeling of excitement to move forward from school but a little sad this is the end of that part of my life and my last year at Frostburg.

To the next intern and all the following interns at BRAVO!. Take advantage of what DC and your semester here has to offer. I wish you the best of luck and hope you enjoy it like as I have. I want you all to grow as I did and I know you will grow in ways that you might not even see! :)

Until Next Time Bye DC -

Jessica (not Jesse)

Your Strategic Event Partner

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