Ahead of our 15th Anniversary Luncheon in San Antonio, featured guest speaker and author of Dear Madam President sat down with Annie's List to offer career and life advice to our dedidcated interns.The former Communications Director for President Obama and Hillary Clinton's 2016 Presidential campaign touched on everything from how communications professionals can uplift the narratives of marginalized communities to the challenge of dealing with imposter syndrome. Read on for Jennifer Palmieri's insightful answers to each intern's question.
Studies Political Science and Economics at St. Edwards University
"In what ways have you used your communications skills to uplift the narratives of marginalized communities in the United States? How do you see these narratives shaping the way we observe and implement policy?
I’ve tried some different tactics and while they haven’t resulted in big policy changes, at least at the national level, I think we are breaking down some silos and having different voices be heard.
ANA HERNANDEZ QUIROS
Studies Advertising at the University of Texas at Austin
"What advice would you give for ambitious women seeking to balance a rigorous leadership role and dedication to their families?"
I have seen women from Amy Klobuchar, Senator from Minnesota, Senator Kristen Gillibrand manage this with having children and leadership positions and I’m not going to tell you that they’re not exhausted because they are, but they do manage to make the events that are important because I think they decided that as important as the political side is, there is only a short amount of time their kids are going to be kids. They make it work and I’m sure you will too.
Studies Digital Media Management and Journalism at St. Edward’s University
"What advice would you give to a woman entering a male-dominated career field?"
The best advice I got when I entered the Obama White House from a woman was don’t wait to be asked, don’t wait for permission. Trust your gut, take the ball and run with it.
Studies Government and Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin
"What is the best advice you can offer a young woman looking to pursue a career in politics, in terms of the best types of work experiences to seek out, prior to attending graduate school?"
If you want a career in politics, join a campaign. The great thing about politics is there’s almost always one going on…That is an amazing place to learn about politics and get a good network of colleagues who will keep you involved in politics for decades if that’s what you want to do. Just learn a ton. Campaigns are meritocracies. It’s the place where young people can rise quickly if you have talent and work hard.
Studies Government at the University of Texas at Austin
"Have you been affected by imposter syndrome? How do you think it impacts women and minorities working in political environments?"
I think what we need is more perspectives, more solutions coming to the table from different voices. I find particularly for people of color that your perspective is going to be unique and have insight that others will not. When I worked for both President Clinton and President Obama, I found it was the people that did not look like everyone else the room that those 2 men got the most insight from.