Next up in our “Intern Interviews with Maggie Gorman series,” Account Supervisor James Mendez!

Where did he work prior to joining Culloton + Bauer Luce? What can he be found doing in his free time? If his childhood had a smell, what would it be?

Keep reading or watch the video above to find out!

Maggie Gorman: What degrees have you achieved and where have you earned them from?

James Mendez: I have an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Missouri-Colombia, or Mizzou if you are a sports fan. Then I have a master’s of public policy and administration from Northwestern University.

Maggie: What were some of your work experiences prior to joining Culloton + Bauer Luce?

James: For the last seven years of my career, I have been on the public side of things. I have worked for the state in the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus down in Springfield for about three years. Since then, I have worked up at City Hall, did a year with the city treasurer’s office and then spent the last few years with Alderman Pat Dowell.

Maggie: What makes Culloton + Bauer Luce stand out against other firms for clients?

James: I think we have a great team. We’re a small team but we pack a punch and there are just years, decades really, of experience in public affairs. I have come from the public side, and we’ve got some other people on the team who have similar experience. I think we work well together; we mesh well. Teamwork makes the dream work.

Maggie: Why did you decide to get into the line of work that you are doing now?

James: As I mentioned before, I had always been on the policy, legislative and budgetary side of things, but I really wanted to learn more about the public affairs side. I had a little bit of experience with it, but it is a little bit outside of what I’ve been trained for in the last seven years. But I do think that I have a lot of applicable skills. I do think it’s a new challenge and I’m excited for it.

Maggie: What do you think you would be doing if you were not working at Culloton + Bauer Luce?

James Mendez: If I was not working at Culloton + Bauer Luce, that’s a good question. I assume I would still be in City Hall. I’d be dealing with the mess that’s over there, it’s a fun mess though. But yeah, I would probably still be on the public side, still working at City Hall and trying to figure out the best practices, in terms of a budgetary standpoint, for the people of the City of Chicago.

Maggie: What can you be found doing in your free time?

James: I can be found watching historical documentaries on Netflix or working out. I love playing basketball. You might also catch me going to the occasional sports game. I’m a big Cubs fan even though I live on the southside.

Maggie: If your childhood had a smell, what would it be?

James Mendez: I guess I’ll go with lavender. I don’t know why but it’s just a smell that I’ve always appreciated. As a kid I loved the Pokémon Game Boy games and one of the levels was called Lavender Town. I was just really good at beating that level. It stuck with me, so I guess I would give my childhood that smell.

Did you know …

1. I have never tried or drank a sip of coffee in my life

2. I have an irrational fear of ketchup

3. I love to watch historical documentaries in my free time