Communications Specialist and social media czar Justin Bensan joined the Rosslyn BID in November 2016. A Los Angeles native, Justin graduated from Northeastern University in Boston with a B.A. in Political Science. He now lives on Capitol Hill with his beloved sunlamp and bike of 7 years.
Rosslynva.org: How did you get started in social media?
Justin Bensan: I was working at the Mayor’s Office in Boston doing constituent service when I went through their Twitter account. It was used for notifications here and there, but I noticed that people tweeted at the account, too. I thought, "If we can answer constituent requests over the phone or online, why not on social media?" The timing was perfect as the city was expanding its social media presence. With the guidance of great mentors, I became the voice of Boston as @NotifyBoston!
I want to work in urban development and am glad to find fun and engaging work in that field! I love cities because they are the sum of a million tiny parts. It’s the integration of people, places and ideas that make cities great places. Social media is similar in that you’re managing multiple moving parts to create a complete personality. This holistic thinking is essential in both urban development and social media, so I feel right at home in this profession.
Rosslynva.org: What do you like best about your job?
JB: Not only do I get to be the online voice of a neighborhood, it just happens to be one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in the area! Rosslyn is more than just a place where people work. More than 13,000 residents and 20,000 employees for organizations of global influence call this neighborhood home. The wide variety of restaurants and events always gives people something to do. And at the intersection of regional roadways, rail lines and bike trails, Rosslyn is connected to the rest of the metropolitan area like no other neighborhood. We even have direct transit access to two airports! I love being just one bus ride away from an international airport (and therefore the world)!
I visited 1812 North Moore Street for the first time a couple months ago, and the view from the tallest building in the area is breathtaking. Here in Rosslyn, I truly feel like I’m in the center of a global metropolitan area.
Rosslynva.org: What do you love to do?
JB: There’s nothing like the thrill of experiencing a new place. I love to travel. I started my life as a nomad, having moved six times throughout my childhood. I was already used to long flights to the Philippines when my mom started working for an airline, giving us travel benefits. My parents made sure to instill a sense of wanderlust in me, and in return they get many souvenirs. You don’t have to travel far for adventure. With just enough planning, a day trip or long weekend, even to somewhere just a drive away, can be satisfying. Just make sure there’s still room for a little spontaneity!
Musical Artist: Björk
Author: John Steinbeck
Television Show: BoJack Horseman / The Golden Girls
Book: Animal Farm
Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind / Before Sunrise
Color: Azure, the shade of blue on a clear sunny sky day
Website: KCRW.com: I get to catch-up on what’s happening back home AND listen to great curated music!
Favorite public transit system I’ve visited: Singapore MRT
Favorite airplane: Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Favorite Amtrak route: Pacific Surfliner from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara: The ocean views are beautiful!
Favorite area bike ride: Across the George Mason Memorial Bridge. I feel such a rush biking across the Potomac with planes flying overhead.
Favorite thing to nerd out about: Transportation, in case you haven’t figured that out already!