Hello everyone! My name is Teanna Willis. I am the Founder of Our Noir. I wanted to create this blog post for people interested in my career path. This can help political science majors out there.
Outside of Our Noir, I have had many different jobs and internships that have made me who I am today. Here is a brief timeline of my work experience.
I attended American University in Washington, DC from August 2015 to May 2019. I graduated a C.L.E.G (Communications, Law, Economic, Government) major with a minor in Political Science.
My Professional Experience
In September 2019 I started interning on capitol hill. Many may not know what capitol hill is if you are not from D.C or know more than the average person about the three branches of government. Capitol hill is where members of congress work and other government organization convene. I am lucky enough to work in the member of congress office that represents the district I grew up in. In this role, I draft constituent letters to ensure the voices of residents in the district are heard and being communicated to the member; attend meetings, hearings and briefings to remain informed about current legislative issues that may involve action from the member; conduct research on legislation, write memoranda to legislative staff and write sign-on letters urging members to act on an issue.
In January 2019 to August 2019, I was a State Fiscal Policy intern for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. While I was there I supported the State Fiscal Project Campaigns team by conducting research, tracking our advocacy efforts for both state and federal legislation. I collaborated with state partner organizations across the country to strengthen the federal safety net, promote racial equity, and provide states with the strategy to impact federal policy. I presented campaign updates for the campaigns team and facilitated discussions around data analytics to strengthen our outreach.
In May 2018 to December 2018, I was a Student Coordinator for the Alternative Break office at American University. I facilitated weekly workshops for student leaders on developing leadership and intercultural competencies. This was important because the leaders would be taking students into communities with distinct histories and people did not make a collective decision to welcome them in. Prior to becoming a coordinator I led a program to San Francisco, CA to study the prison industrial complex in this "progressive" area. When planning an alternative break one must contact community organizations, recruit participants and create a budget that would define the cost of the program. This takes a lot of logistical work, flexibility, and effective communication.
In May 2018 to August 2018, I was an Industry & Association Affairs intern for NCTA. I compiled and maintained major players in the industry indicated by daily news articles. I created scripts that have produced the public affairs team’s monthly content to educate parents on new laws and the best practices for navigating telecommunication advances. I have executed the department’s archival project by contacting cost effective media production companies to provide a vast catalogue of the company’s cable show videos dating back to the 1980s.
In March 2017, I started Interning for Impact Silver Spring. I learned about building networks within the neighborhood to foster economic and cultural growth. I helped produce three videos to share at networking events with public officials and community to publicize narratives of minorities. During this time, I also funded this unpaid internship by applying to multiple grants afford by my university.
My Campus and Community Engagement
In February 2018 to April 2019, I tutored at Youthbuild Charter School in Washington, DC. I engaged with students from 17-24 from similar background to mine. Those who have also fallen victim to the criminal justice system. I created a fundraising plan, including grant writing, to raise over 500 dollars to decorate classrooms to create a better learning environment. Many of my ideas were not able to come to fruition, but the school was able to utilize many supplies.
Out of many influential courses, I was a part of the Public Advocacy Institute that was ran by the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies in May 2018. I participated in an intensive exploration into the art and craft of lobbying on the federal level. I practiced the strategies, tactics, methods, techniques, regulations, and ethics of those who advocate public policy options to elected officials. I also communicated with faculty, academics, professional lobbyist, public officials, and journalists, who bring applied and theoretical approaches to their subjects. This class was 9-5 for two weeks and at the end of the program we put together a group 30 page assignment and presentation to demonstrate our knowledge.
That's all for now folks! Thanks for reading and I hope to add more information here!