Idea Blog

New friends, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and Game of Thrones

Posted on: August 15th, 2016 | 0 Comments

My summer so far

This summer I am interning in Washington DC, and it is truly one of the best places to be as a summer intern. Every summer hordes of interns find themselves in DC and bring with them a spirit of adventure and life. I live in a house near Georgetown, which is occupied by five other interns. Everyone in the house has bonded over weekly Game of Thrones viewings and friendly disputes over bathroom time in the morning. The area around Georgetown is surprisingly green. There’s quite a few parks around which have become my running routes in the evenings. Canal road is probably one of the best stretches for a run around Georgetown. Apart from that, there are a lot of great restaurants and bars nearby which have kept my weekends occupied.

DC is also a city of culture and vibrancy as I’ve come to find. Museums abound; great architecture and local historical sites are everywhere; the Hirschhorn museum is a particular favorite of mine. Probably the most striking aspect of DC for me so far has been the lack of any skyscrapers, which gives this city a unique feel. It feels like being in a small town with all the convenience of a big city.

In terms of work, I am working for the Transfer Pricing Group at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. As an intern I mainly work on doing analysis for clients that are mainly multi-national companies. As a result of my work, I have had exposure to a variety of industries including food processing, aviation, and IT. In doing analysis for my clients,I rely on my Economics and Political Science knowledge quite a bit. The ability to take ownership of my work and work from end to end of a particular assignment is fulfilling. My career aspiration is to work in advisory or management consulting.  The client exposure and knowhow that I have received through my internship has been invaluable with working towards this goal.

However, the most meaningful part of this summer for me has had nothing to do with work. The best part of the summer has been all the friends I have made during my time in DC. I have made friends from not only DC, but all around the world, and I have those friendships to look back to when I leave.





Life on the Management Side

Posted on: August 8th, 2016 | 0 Comments

Jonathan Tari
Remedial Media, Brooklyn

I’ve transitioned from the media production side of things to the business development and management side of Remedial Media. I’m spending less time on set and more time talking about company growth. They are, after all, a startup. The two main producers there, husband and wife, decided that they want to legitimize their business plan. Instead of working gig-to-gig, some outside investment and some larger form contracts with clients could lead to a much more successful, and faster growing, business. On one hand, that means my boss had to reach out to lots of different beauty companies in order to get work on a more consistent basis. Boss #2, with whom I’ve been working more and more, has taken on the role of creating an investment pitch, and preparing the company to scale up. Read More

Creative Marketing in Nashville

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 | 0 Comments

I chose to spend my summer this year working in Nashville. This has been very different from my previous summer. Last year, I went back home (Nairobi, Kenya) to work on a startup geared towards providing online shopping and delivery. It was a very fulfilling experience and I can definitely talk about what I learned doing that in other blog post. However, this summer, I landed an internship at redpepper which is a creative marketing agency based here in Nashville. For those of you who have watched the popular TV show called Mad Men, it’s pretty similar. One thing that mattered to me while looking for a place to work is a friendly and open culture that fosters creativity in the employees. I was able to find that and much more here at redpepper. My colleagues are all eager and incredibly helpful and willing to answer as many questions as possible. As an intern, that has been crucial in helping me learn the ropes. Read More

Coding for Bottle

Posted on: July 22nd, 2016 | 0 Comments

Ben Knight – July 11, 2016

Hey guys! I’ve been in Knoxville working for Bottle since the beginning of the summer. They’re a tech startup that hosts business-to-customer messaging, with the goal of making purchases and customer service easy over text. One of their two founders, Will Schreiber, is a former Vandy Curb scholar. He handles all of Bottle’s code has been awesome to work under and to learn from. I’ve already been handed some pretty cool projects this summer, mostly involving the creation of bots to crawl through and interact with different social media platforms. I’m pretty happy with my progress as well! With no prior experience, I’ve picked up and made decent use of both Python and Ruby on Rails. Read More

Aspen Music School

Posted on: July 20th, 2016 | 0 Comments

The wifi in Aspen is non-existent. It is the perfect opportunity to focus on personal, musical, spiritual, and philosophical growth in the presence of the staggeringly beautiful nature that surrounds the town. The first week of the Aspen Music Festival has been overwhelming. From understanding the jam-packed schedule of concerts, masterclasses, and lessons, to navigating the bus routes to the music school and beyond, there is so much to see and do. But before we get to the intensive music activities, the staff insisted that a large part of the festival is non-musical, meaning that we must first engage with the grand mountains, green pastures, and lush waterfalls before we think about what our purpose is in the art of music. Read More

New York is an intense city.

Posted on: July 18th, 2016 | 0 Comments


Getting settled doesn’t just mean understanding the subway or figuring out the commute between Brooklyn and Manhattan, getting settled means getting comfortable with the loneliness that is NYC. There is so much to do, there are so many people around you, yet if you don’t make yourself a community, you won’t have one. The city itself certainly isn’t your friend.

It’s been a dance of going out with friends of friends, basically strangers, and going to pizza shops alone, finishing a pie by yourself. Both are challenges in their own way. Read More

Living in London

Posted on: July 15th, 2016 | 0 Comments

by Matthew Thompson

My trip to London was circuitous, spiraling around the city before finally settling here.  I began in the north of England with my family.  I visited my grandmother and aunt in Manchester, then moved north into Scotland.  On the way, I spent two days in the Lake District, a region of beautiful countryside where mountains reach high into the sky.  While there, I visited Castlerigg (photo attached), a stone circle placed here 4,500 years ago.  Touching these stones was like feeling the bones of the earth; I was struck by the power of human endeavor, and the permanence of this species.

I returned to our modern creations in Edinburgh.  The city felt like good preparation for London: quieter and more manageable, if colder and wetter.
Continuing on my spiral, I traveled to Paris. 
I knew here that nothing I could say of the city would be new; this is a form of permanence too, as humanity’s own creations can wow us in the same ways for centuries, eventually exhausting our ability to capture these experiences.  Instead, I include a photograph. Read More

Posted on: July 12th, 2016 | 0 Comments

Reflections in Belfast

by Lily Pollack

Belfast, Northern Ireland is a bustling place. Everyday I make my 45-minute morning commute to Oh Yeah Music Centre on foot, watching all of the working people hurry along to their offices. I see teenagers totally owning their own style and individuality, Dr. Martens taking them to their summer hangout for the day. I see people marvelling at the beauty of Queen’s University, fresh off the tour bus. I usually try to listen to a new album on my way to work to accompany the people watching. Every minute counts, as there’s too much music and not nearly enough time. When I arrive to work, I’m greeted by such friendly faces everyday. I make a double shot espresso and get started with the day’s jobs. First, I have to take note of the catchy tune playing. Then I check to see if we’ve raised any money for our program Volume Control, which strives to introduce teenagers to music enterprise. I was tasked with starting an online fundraiser through another charity called Localgiving, and we have a goal of raising 1,000 pounds before mid July. Right now, we’re a little over halfway there. From there I usually create a social media post to encourage more people to donate, to promote an event we have on, or to inform the world wide web of the plethora of opportunities community members can take to become more involved with the music scene in Belfast. Next, I’ll start writing a blog post for a new blog that I created. Read More

Interning at Windy Films

Posted on: August 26th, 2015 | 0 Comments

by Lucy Rahner

This summer I’ve been interning with Windy Films, a small Boston-based documentary film studio started by former Curb Scholar, Harvey, and his long-time friends Tripp and Will. From feature-length documentaries to promotional pieces for social impact organizations, they aim to “tell stories that matter.”

In the mornings, I fittingly take the train to the Maverick station, heading towards Wonderland, and a slew of possibilities. That’s about where the day-to-day regularity ends; I never quite know what I’ll find when I walk into Studio 16. Curious visitors (both human and animal) and diverse clients, as well as new problems to solve and fresh visions to fulfill make the cavernous studio a true place of possibility, yet the discipline of deadlines and bottom lines keep it serious enough for the creative energy to have direction.

Read More

Inside an Artist’s Life in the Ryman Lofts

Posted on: August 25th, 2015 | 0 Comments

Guest post from Lily Hansen author of Word of Mouth: Nashville Conversations, and resident of Ryman Lofts, Nashville’s first affordable apartment residence for artists.  Lily coordinated our visit to Ryman Lofts (you’ll hear more about that in our next post!), and her book Word of Mouth will serve as the inspiration for many of our visits this year.


by Lily Hansen

Today I signed my third lease at the Ryman Artist Lofts in downtown Nashville. If you haven’t heard, Music City is beyond boom status. We are competing with Chicago, my hometown, for who can jack up their rent prices faster. It seems as though a new structure emerges from the ground every other day.

Just as I was initialing my paperwork this morning, my property manager’s telephone rang. Debbie is the gatekeeper who breaks people’s hearts on an hourly basis by telling them that we are on a five-year wait list. Now I know why the masses are clamoring to get into our 60-unit community.

Read More