Politics, Power & Policy Praxis Fieldwork Seminar
Faculty Advisor: Marissa Golden
Field Site: Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Field Supervisor: Ishya Verma
Praxis Poster:Catherine Beveridge_Final Poster
My Praxis fieldwork site was U.S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s press office! I worked remotely to help facilitate weekly press conferences and assess the impact of the Senator’s advocacy through tracking TV, print and radio media.
My days started early and could sometimes change at any moment with breaking news from the Senate or back home in New York. This created plenty of high stress, time-sensitive situations. But I enjoyed the adrenaline from it and seeing politics play out in real time was a joy as a student of political science. Press work can be a blend of constituency work and the legislative focused environment that comes with the Hill. We are the bridge between the two in some ways. Press conferences can be platforms for advocates on issues from human trafficking to frontline workers rights to paid leave.
Personally, my time management skills were tested to their limits, and I exceeded my own expectations for handling both my coursework and a rigorous press schedule when Congress is in session. My communication skills also saw plenty of use with weekly phone calls to various media outlets to pitch our conferences on a wide array of topics. I had the opportunity to help draft press releases. These tested my writing skills in a new way by limiting my words to a few sentences or two paragraphs at most to effectively convey the importance of various government programs.
My time with the Senator’s team will be an experience I will cherish for the rest of my professional career. I worked with a wonderful team of interns and staff who had my back, and I had the chance to step up when called upon. I hope to continue my work in politics and law. While I have no larger interest in communications or journalism, I will appreciate the work that local news clerks, anchors, writers, and communications staff all around the country do for our government and our people.