By Hanna Moore
PRSSA Kent members participated in Skype meeting with Sruti Ramadugu, Communications Advisor at USAID in Washington, D.C. Ramadugu has experience working in the public sector with Lean In DC, First Lady Michelle Obama's Let Girls Learn Initiative, the Obama presidential campaign and internships with Senator Sherrod Brown.
Even though Ramadugu works in communications today, she was originally interested in policy. She said she hopes to go to business school get her master's degree and continue working in the field of gender equality and women's empowerment. Below is some advice that she gave to PRSSA Kent's members:
Network with alumni.
Ramadugu encouraged us to use the Kent State alumni network because if there is a specific city or state we want to work in, there is probably an alumnus who can help connect us to a job there. When asked about how she was able to leave Northeast Ohio, she said, "Ohio is a state, it's not a prison."
Gain a range of experiences.
Ramadugu first got involved with Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2008 when she was in high school. From there, she gained more experienced and went on to complete 12 internships in college, including some with Senator Sherrod Brown, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MSNBC.
A typical day for Ramadugu at Let Girls Learn involves "a lot of writing." She shared that she was working with colleagues in other countries in preparation for the International Day of the Girl, which was Oct. 11.
Pursue leadership opportunities.
Ramadugu also shared that she and some of her female friends were inspired by Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, a book written by Nell Scovell and Sheryl Sandberg. They viewed this book into a "curriculum" that could be used to help more women gain leadership positions. Ramadugu is now the executive director of Lean In DC, where she built partnerships with local companies and organizations to develop events and opportunities to empower women to pursue leadership opportunities.
Become an expert.
Ramadugu offered advice for students who want to pursue a career in public affairs, saying that it is better to become an expert in one area, so you can become really familiar with it. She said that in D.C., a master's degree in communications is less necessary because relationships and experience are more important. She encouraged us to keep in contact with people we meet at internships and jobs because they can help connect you with other opportunities.