Intern Spotlight: Ian Ball

This is the second of two profiles of Learning Life’s fall 2015 student interns. This fall, our two bright and capable interns, Samantha MacFarlane and Ian Ball, are drafting new quizzes, facts and big questions for Learning Life’s website, assisting with community research, and helping in other ways for which we are grateful.  To learn more about interning with Learning Life contact us at


Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I grew up close to Harvard University and spent much of my childhood reading and playing soccer in BAYS (Boston Area Youth Soccer).

Learning Life intern, Ian BallWhat is your school, year and major?

I’m currently a senior majoring in organizational sciences and minoring in Mandarin Chinese at George Washington University.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy reading fantasy novels and watching action movies, and try to hone my skills at Super Smash Bros. with my fraternity brothers and friends.

What is the most beautiful place you have seen on Earth, and why is it so beautiful?

I think the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen would be the Classical Gardens of Suzhou in Jiangsu, China. I only got to see two or three of the gardens during my stay, but these ancient gardens are filled with classical architecture, beautiful flowers and tranquil ponds. The effort and skill put into the stonework and landscaping of these scholars’ gardens is truly something to behold.

Is there a particular life experience you have had that has shaped you as a person?  If so, what was it, and how has it shaped who you are?

Just before starting high school I began taking lessons in Soo Bahk Do, a traditional Korean martial art. It was both physically and mentally strenuous, and the discipline I learned while training there is something I have taken with me into every facet of life.  

Why did you choose to intern with Signia Surfaces?

I applied to intern with Signia Surfaces because I was interested in giving back to DC communities while I attended college here. Growing up near Harvard University showed me the value of knowledge and Learning Life keeps people informed about the issues.

What are your career plans?

I’d like to go into management consulting in China; there I can work to improve relations within American joint ventures and enjoy fine Chinese cuisine while I’m doing it.