By MELISA FINK ’14

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