7 Questions with Caitlin Emma ’11, Politico Pro Education Reporter

Caitlin Emma, a 2011 honors journalism and political science graduate, says UConn helped her pursue careers in the journalism field. (photo courtesy of Caitlin Emma)
Caitlin Emma, a 2011 hon­ors jour­nal­ism and polit­i­cal sci­ence grad­u­ate from Leomin­ster, Mass., says UConn chal­lenged her and lead her toward her career as a pol­i­tics reporter. (Pho­to cour­tesy of Caitlin Emma)

As an edu­ca­tion reporter at Politi­co Pro, Caitlin Emma gets to feed her pas­sion for Wash­ing­ton D.C. pol­i­tics and policy.

Emma, who grad­u­at­ed from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Con­necti­cut in 2011 with degrees in jour­nal­ism and polit­i­cal sci­ence, cred­its her UConn pro­fes­sors with nur­tur­ing her inter­est in pol­i­tics and sto­ry­telling, and real­ly push­ing her toward her career goals.

What else has Emma accom­plished and what advice does she have for cur­rent jour­nal­ism stu­dents? In an email inter­view, she offered some highlights.

What oth­er jobs did you hold before land­ing at Politi­co Pro? 

I was a free­lance reporter for CTNewsJunkie and a jour­nal­ism fel­low for The Con­necti­cut News Project, where I worked for the Con­necti­cut Mir­ror and the New Haven Inde­pen­dent. I was also a senior mem­ber of the Web pro­duc­tion team at Politi­co Pro.

How did you your UConn edu­ca­tion and con­nec­tions help you?
The pro­fes­sors in the Jour­nal­ism Depart­ment at UConn taught me how to report, launched my first intern­ship with CTNewsJunkie and fos­tered my love for Wash­ing­ton pol­i­tics and pol­i­cy. All of these expe­ri­ences defined what I want­ed to do after col­lege and set me on the path to get­ting it done.

Why did you choose to major in journalism?
I’ve always loved telling sto­ries, learn­ing some­thing new through the report­ing process and writ­ing what peo­ple care about.

Do you remem­ber your sud­den death sto­ry in Newswrit­ing I? 
Wow, I actu­al­ly don’t remem­ber my sud­den death sto­ry… I prob­a­bly blacked out the expe­ri­ence due to stress.

Did you have a favorite UConn Jour­nal­ism professor?
Pro­fes­sor Mar­cel Dufresne real­ly pushed me out of my com­fort zone. He pushed me to seize hon­ors oppor­tu­ni­ties and inves­tiga­tive projects, work with large amounts of data when num­bers weren’t my strong suit and apply to Wash­ing­ton, D.C. pro­grams. He also helped me fine tune my writ­ing to make for the strongest pieces pos­si­ble. He taught me some invalu­able skills and I think he’s part of the rea­son I end­ed up in Washington.

Any­thing you wish you did while you were still at UConn? 
I wish I’d gone to the Dairy Bar more often. Most of my regrets involve not appre­ci­at­ing food enough. Din­ing halls, Stu­dent Union mac n’ cheese, etc.

What advice would you give to cur­rent UConn Jour­nal­ism majors?
Take advan­tage of all the oppor­tu­ni­ties offered by the Jour­nal­ism Depart­ment and try to get as much expe­ri­ence as you can out­side the class­room, too. Some­times the best way to learn how to report some­thing is a tri­al-by-fire situation!

Fol­low Caitlin Emma on Twit­ter: @caitlinzemma