Horan Communications is proud to welcome Brittany Straughn as a marketing and communications intern this semester. Brittany will graduate from Boston University in January 2016 with degrees in communications and political science. Over the past two years, she has worked as an intern for The Novus Group, Cone Communications, the Massachusetts Democratic Party, and the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. Follow her on Twitter @brittanyrose_12.
What draws you to the fields of communications and politics?
I am attracted to the idea of solving giant societal problems. I realized early in my education that big ideas often go unrealized without effective communication. So, studying and eventually working at a crossroads of political communication seemed the best fit for my interests.
What are your career goals after graduation?
I want to work with people and organizations seeking to make positive change. Ideally that will mean communicating on behalf of individuals, organizations, and corporations that realize problems within society and work to make them better.
How have your studies at Boston University help prepare you to achieve those goals?
The privilege of attending Boston University has opened my eyes to the complexity of the society we live in. There are no easy answers to income inequality, racism, or misogyny. Entering my undergraduate career, the idealist in me would have told you exactly how to solve the aforementioned issues. Now, I have learned to think outside the box when faced with a problem. My education has taught me to problem solve in a more realistic and achievable way. I am beyond grateful for the experience.
What have been the highlights of your educational experience as an undergraduate?
The highlight of my BU experience as an undergraduate was taking part in the First Year Student Outreach Project. I began my freshman year as a volunteer within the program, and served last year as a Staff leader. This weeklong project works to acclimate incoming BU freshmen to their new surroundings in Boston while giving back to that same community. Volunteers spend a week doing nine-to-five community service within an issue area of interest led by upperclassmen staff leaders. During my participation in this program, I worked within the human rights and food justice issue areas. I learned more than anticipated about the issue areas, the individuals I met, and myself. It is amazing what a few weeks of education, empathy, and goodwill can accomplish.
What have you learned from your internships at other communications and political organizations?
I am mostly appreciative I have had the opportunity to work with so many different organizations. I have interned with an electoral organization, a nonprofit, a consulting agency, a communications firm, political campaigns, and advocacy groups. Because of this, I have begun to recognize how communication strategy varies drastically within different contexts and for differing audiences. I’ve also learned that working alongside a group of humans who care deeply about what they do can be exceptionally inspiring.
Why did you decide to pursue this internship?
In researching the insights and services provided by Horan Communications, a commitment to advocacy work became clear. The weight Horan Communications places on the issues that matter, education being the focus, is the core reason I applied. I also saw a great opportunity for hands on work and the ability to think creatively within a diverse client list.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working or studying?
I love to eat good food (guacamole) and listen to good music (Kendrick Lamar, at the moment). I also enjoy exploring the city and my community, whether by foot while running along the banks of the Charles or with friends and family. I look forward to more free time post-graduation when I hope to continue playing the piano, frequenting the yoga studio, and reading for pleasure after a three and a half year education hiatus.