Reem Iskandar began her internship at Susan Davis International (SDI) in September 2023, fresh off her graduation from George Mason University with a degree in Communications, concentrating on Public Relations. Her academic background instilled a strong passion for PR and led her to an internship at SDI.
A native of the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) area, Reem had the privilege of growing up among a wealth of museums, monuments, and historical landmarks that served as constant sources of inspiration. Reem was able to enjoy the different annual cultural festivals with friends and family, which she said further enriched her experiences growing up.
Outside of her professional pursuits, Reem finds joy in exploring new restaurants, getting lost in time-period dramas, and immersing herself in the world of Marvel movies.
During her time at SDI, Reem has actively supported the American Battle Monuments Commission’s 100th anniversary, helping with event planning for documentary screenings across the country as well as conducting valuable research. And she is supporting SDI as it begins work with the B&O Railroad Museum for the upcoming 200th anniversary of the railroad industry in 2027.
Here’s more about Reem:
What drove your interest in public relations?
My passion for public relations was ignited during my college years when I had the opportunity to help organize events for several student associations at George Mason University. From annual galas to the simple, yet crucial, general body meetings, I realized how impactful effective communication and strategic planning can be in connecting people, conveying stories, and driving positive change.
One notable takeaway was the importance of forming meaningful relationships and making a lasting impact with my work. I found that paying attention to detail, conducting thorough research, and being intentional in the choices I make are effective ways to achieve these goals.
What is your favorite country to visit, and why?
My favorite country to visit is the United Kingdom. As a Harry Potter fanatic who lives for the gloomy, dark academia aesthetic of Edinburgh with a fascination for London-city life, the UK is my second home. I was only able to visit London during a 12-hour layover, but you bet I made the most of those 12 hours.
I was able to tour almost the entirety of London within that timeframe and I could already tell I was in love with the city. Not to mention the easy access to public transportation within the country and to others in Europe. Truly a dream.
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received?
Having been labeled Ms. Talkative by everyone I know, the best advice I’ve ever received was “actively listen with curiosity.”
Every class, my communications professor started each lecture with her quote of the day. As we were learning about managing conflict in relationships, the professor started off the chapter by emphasizing the importance of active listening. She explained that when you are listening, you aren’t doing so to give a response, but to understand the other person’s point.
As someone who always felt like I had something to say, sometimes it is best to leave it for another conversation. What matters is understanding the other party, addressing their concerns, and then sharing your own thoughts. Easy to say, hard to do.
What is your opinion on social media? Good or bad for society?
Social media is a double-edged sword. On one side, you can create these beautiful connections with people, catch up with college friends, and find your niche community. On the other side, the dissemination of misinformation is too prevalent on social media. This has caused quite the polarization among distinct groups – highlighting the need for media literacy to be taught. At the end of the day, social media is a tool. It can be good or bad for society depending on how an entity uses it.
What is it about your work for SDI that you find most motivating or rewarding?
I am motivated by the dynamic nature of the field. No two days are the same and you get to encounter new challenges and opportunities along the way. This ever-changing landscape keeps me engaged and eager to learn, as client needs are always evolving and requiring creativity in finding solutions.
Working at SDI, the sense of strong team collaboration is another motivating factor and I’m fortunate enough to work with a group of dedicated and supportive professionals that guide me. The continuous feedback from my colleagues at SDI shows how invested they are in my personal growth and allows me to advance in my PR skills. Overall, my experience so far has been very rewarding and laying a great foundation for future opportunities.