It’s a Thursday back near the end of May – I’m calling from my office to speak with Bridget Reed Morawski, Emerson Alum from the Class of 2015 and current Copy Aide over at The Washington Post. Bridget and I went to Emerson together back in 2012 during my freshman year of college but haven’t had the time to connect in a while. When we’re finally put in touch I hear some chatter in the background.
Bridget is on the bus, headed into work briefly to grab some things for an assignment she’s on. She’s driving out to the suburbs and relays to me that she’s a little worried about driving after relying on public transportation for so long. “Hopefully I make it!”
This is more than a glimpse into Bridget’s day – it’s a moment that says a lot about her work ethic and her unique personality (and sense of humor).
How Bridget Started Working at the Post:
Ironically, Bridget’s relationship with the Post starts with rejection. “When I immediately graduated at Emerson, I did the D.C. program and then immediately after I worked at a radio station for five months. And that’s when I applied to the Washington Post through their
“When I immediately graduated at Emerson, I did the D.C. program and then immediately after I worked at a radio station for five months. And that’s when I applied to the Washington Post through their tumblr page where they post all their jobs on… I actually didn’t get it. But what I did was, when I got the rejection email, I sent a follow-up to my now current boss asking what I could do to be a candidate in the future.”
This little bit of engagement lead to a meet-up between Bridget and her boss which, in turn, sparked a conversation about her experience and the application process as a whole. According to her, the whole application process was really “a numbers game,” based on the high influx of applications coming in.
“After we met up for coffee, he invited me to a tour of the Post… and he said he’d let me know the next time something comes up…”
And that lead to an invitation to interview for Bridget’s current job once a member of the Post stepped down from their position.
“I didn’t realize no one else – except for me – follows up on rejection emails… I talk to people a lot, I’m not shy. So I just invited myself over to the Post for coffee pretty much and… it worked!”
Why the Post?
The short answer? Career development. According to Bridget, she liked the feeling of working at smaller news groups but felt restricted by the lack of upward mobility. She’s always been a hard worker looking to be active in journalism with her own voice and, as a new hire in a small news group, it can be hard making those cases for yourself or finding opportunities.
“There’s just so many things you can do [at the Post]. I’m always helping out other departments, working with many groups, and I’m asked to do all sorts of stuff… and I could do the easy administrative stuff I was hired to do but the intent is to let me go on assignments and work on my own projects. Every day is like its own little journalism class.”
How did Emerson prepare you?
“I say that, for me personally… I really cherished the opportunity to be able to do what I wanted to do at Emerson.”
Emerson offered Bridget a place to explore many opportunities and, as she says, gave her a place to be challenged by professors when she looked for challenges. To give you a sense of exactly what Bridget’s experience was like here, let me just lay out some of the activities she did here/clubs she was involved with: WERS, EIV, Berkley Beacon, Atlas Magazine, Emertainment Monthly, and 6 internships (Spare Change News, The Fashion Foot, WGBH, Harvard Kennedy School, PBS, & The Washington Center).
Now is this the guaranteed recipe for success? No.
Bridget believes that, in order to get the most out of the journalism opportunities at Emerson, students should engage with what’s around them and value an emphasis on experiential learning – getting your feet wet before you enter the workforce. As she says, “The professors here will encourage you if you’re seeking encouragement.”
Which translates to something along the lines of: If you are active in your classes and take advantage of the involvement opportunities at Emerson, you’ll be golden in your future.
Thankfully, Bridget survived her excursion back in May and has continued to represent Emerson at the Post. Her success over there is attributed to her work ethic but, even more so, to her unique perspective on her career and her commitment to a high-caliber of personal and professional excellence.