Washington, DC has got to be the place to be if you’re a politician, lobbyist, or restaurateur. But what if you’re an amazingly talented creative considering a move to “The District,” will there be work for you?
To get an answer, we visited with star agent Alison Tripp who was able to cut through the red tape so we could get a real look at our nation’s capitol... without the hype.
It’s the next stop on our Vitamin T Global Office Tour!
Vitamin T: What do you love most about your city?
Alison: I love that DC is so much more than museums and politics. While we do have plenty of politicians and some of the most amazing museums and national monuments in the world, DC isn’t all argyle and history books. It’s a beautiful, diverse, and fast-paced city filled with art, culture, and ridiculously yummy food. From live music in Duke Ellington’s U Street Corridor to crabs covered in Old Bay in Annapolis and the historic, hip, and cobblestone streets of Georgetown (where you can see your fair share of celebrities and politicians) to catching a free show at the Kennedy Center, DC has it all!
You can hop in the car or on the train and be at the beach, the mountains, or several cities including Baltimore, Annapolis, Philadelphia, and New York within a few hours. Plus, you never know when you may be able to be a part of history and stand in the freezing cold for hours to see a presidential inauguration or just wave to a passing motorcade on your way to grab your morning coffee.
Vitamin T: Why is it a great place for interactive talent?
Alison: As the nation’s capital, the government has a big impact on the region. The job market is strong here due to the government employers and contracts. The city attracts the highly educated to work at recognized colleges, high-tech and biotech companies, national and international non-profit associations, and corporate law firms. And since the nation’s capital is a big tourist attraction, hospitality and entertainment are big business here as well. It’s one of the most diverse and highly educated cities in the country, which makes it an incredibly interesting place to live and work.
Vitamin T: What advice would you have for talent moving to your city?
Alison: The DC population shifts with the political climate and people come and go, so it can be tough to find community here. That’s why it is so important to get out and go to networking events. Once you start meeting people, you find that this city is much smaller than you think it is. Everyone seems to be connected to each other in the most random ways and people here love to introduce people to each other. Think “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” except with the backdrop of marble buildings and dirty martinis. So, grab your business cards and a cocktail and make some fascinating connections!
Vitamin T: What are some great networking orgs to connect with?
- AIGA DC
- DC Web Women
- The Capital Cabal
- Women In Film and Video
- The Web Managers Roundtable
- DC Meet Ups (There is a meet up for everything! Just hop on “the Google”)
Vitamin T: What are some of the hottest agencies in your city?
- Fathom Creative - Voted DC’s 2010 Agency of the Year representing clients such as AARP and United Way of America
- Carousel 30 - Selected for the iMedia’s 25 East Coast Agencies to Watch List
- JESS3 - A creative interactive agency with clients such as Samsung, Nike, The Washington Post, Facebook, NASA, National Geographic, Foursquare, Microsoft, C-SPAN, Turner Broadcasting, and Google
And don’t forget that DC has a TON of non-profits, associations, museums, and government contractors who are always looking for talented designers!
Vitamin T: What odd factoids can you share about the city that newcomers wouldn't know?
Alison: The Washington Monument is taller than all the buildings in town, measuring 555 feet and 51/8 inches. There are no skyscrapers in DC, which ensures that the city skyline isn’t dominated by tall buildings. It makes for one heck of a gorgeous city!
Oh, one more thing. If you find yourself on the Metro, you better stand on the right and walk on the left or you will be run over by all of the important people on their way to work or, even worse, be labeled a tourist!!
Looking to learn more about living and working in DC? Connect with our DC office to get the local scoop!