Presently I work as a defense reporter here in DC. After graduating in 2003, I set out to pursue a job in journalism and publishing. Before landing at the independent publication “Inside the Pentagon” in September 2005, I worked as a subsidiary rights assistant at Penguin publishers (describing what a subrights assistant does will require another blog entry!) and a news assistant at a newspaper. Over the last year and a half, I’ve been covering U.S. national security and defense policy issues. I find and develop stories by talking to defense sources within the Pentagon, congressional defense committees and the defense industry. I work with the editor in chief to come up with story ideas and to write three to five articles for the weekly publication. I enjoy being a defense reporter because there are always new stories and topics to discover. One day I could find myself working on the need for renewable energy systems to help save the lives of soldiers in Iraq and the next day on how Afghans are training with Colombians to control drug smuggling. My work is challenging and often exposes me to issues and problems I’ve never faced before. At the end of the day, I most enjoy being in a job that allows my brain to chase new ideas.
Being an English major has prepared me well for my life as a reporter. Knowing how to structure arguments and using language to clearly describe my point were two skills I picked up while at GWU. More importantly, having a strong liberal arts background has helped me develop skills to better analyze situations and pick up trends that may affect the lives of readers. Somehow, being able to read Proust has helped me observe subtle details in defense!
I have great memories from GWU and from the English department. I appreciate the enthusiasm, helpfulness, quirks and, above all, the knowledge of my professors. I’ll never forget discussions on Byron’s view on love with Prof. Plotz or being continually amazed by Prof. Ganz!
Thanks for writing, Rati, and congratulations on your post-GW success.