The Washington Center took over the Gap on Wisconsin Avenue Thursday night for a special event as part of their annual InternsROCK program. Interns mingled throughout the store, nibbling on cookies and crudities while enjoying a 30% discount and shopping advice from personal stylists.
The Washington Center started the InternsROCK program four years ago as a way to help interns not just go to work and class, but actually experience what DC has to offer. The first year they had discounts offered from 70 vendors for only 1000 participants, but this year the number of interns reached 4000.
Carmenchu Mendiola, VP of Communications with The Washington Center, says they “try to find vendors students care about” to participate every year. The quality of vendors improves each year, due mostly from the feedback of interns- they asked for cupcakes, and this year interns could get buy one, get one free from Sprinkles.
The Washington Center reached out to Gap this year with the idea that most students need professional clothing to fit into conservative DC, but also are on a college budget. Gap agreed and offered to host the event and the response was great- the store was packed by the first hour of the night and an excited buzz could be heard throughout.
This year the week for the discounts ran June 7-16 and participants needed a keytag to prove they were an intern for the summer. But the InternsROCK program doesn’t just benefit the interns in the city: “It’s a great opportunity for students to know small businesses of DC and become repeat visitors,” urges Mendiola. And with plans for more vendors and more events in the future, the program itself is bound to continue in its repetition each summer.