WHERE I WORK: Nathalie Birkenfeld, Account associate, IgnitionStrategic Communications

How long have you been working there? Two years.

How long have you been working there? Two years.

How did you end up in your job? I saw an intriguing "Help Wanted ad in The Washington Post that led to an interview with Ignition Strategic Communication's principals. It must have been the shortest hiring process in history. They offered me a job on the spot. It felt like the right fit, and time has shown that our instincts were good.

Describe the physical space you work in Ignition's offices have translucent walls, exposed egg carton cement ceilings, and a curvilinear gold wall that cuts through the whole space. It looks like a DC version of a New York City loft or art gallery. It reflects the creative and offbeat nature of the staff.

What is the best thing about working there? The firm supports everyone in their desire to learn and grow. For example, I've always wanted to learn web design. I asked the bosses if they would let me take a course in Dreamweaver. Before I knew it, I was editing our website myself.

If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be? The noise level. Our office is set up like a newsroom for open communication - no offices, no cubicles, no partitions. It's great when I have a question for a senior member of the team, but when everyone is on the phone, the noise level is off the scale.

What is the most exciting project you have worked on recently?

The American College of Cardiology donated funds to purchase a new ambulance for New York City after the September 11 attack. Our firm tracked down the first person to call 911, and convinced Mayor Giuliani to attend the ceremony. We got great coverage in every news outlet in New York.

If you could do your job from any location - other than your office - where would it be? Silicon Valley, because it's loaded with technology companies (I'm a geek groupie), the weather is fair, and I might get a break from the allergy attacks I suffer in DC.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Either managing health care or tech clients at Ignition, or being Entertainment Tonight's exclusive TV reporter for the Cannes Film Festival, where I can interview Al Pacino and Antonio Banderas. Tough choice.

Number of PR dept. employees: 15
Address: 2121 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Suite 320, Washington, DC 20007
Phone: (202) 339-0111
Web: ignitioncommunications.com

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