How Studying Political Theory Led to a Reporting Job for an International Newswire

Kate Duguid

Kate Duguid received her M.A. in political science from The Graduate Center in 2017. Now she is a reporter for Reuters who covers international affairs, trade, and U.S. markets. Leo Tamamizu, a current Ph.D. student in political science, recently spoke to Duguid about how her time at The Graduate Center helped lead to this step in her career.
The Graduate Center: How did your experience in the M.A. program better prepare you for your job as a reporter for Reuters?
Duguid: I use the skills I learned at The Graduate Center in my work every day. I’m better at understanding complex systems, building arguments, and reading texts closely because of my coursework in political theory. Working under Professor Paisley Currah (GC/Brooklyn, Political Science,) for my master’s thesis made me a better and more coherent writer. I rely on knowledge gleaned from classes with Professor David Jones (GC/Baruch, Political Science) on political polarization and Professor Corey Robin (GC/Brooklyn, Political Science) on the history of conservatism every time my financial reporting has delved into politics.
GC: How did you transition from academic work to journalism? Do you have any advice for Graduate Center students looking to work in journalism?
Duguid: When I started at The Graduate Center, I initially thought I wanted to do academic work. Learning that I was better suited for a different kind of writing may be the most valuable lesson I learned in the program. And even after that realization, there was still loads to gain from my coursework that has made me a better reporter. For students interested in working in journalism, I would suggest finding an area of expertise. The most in-demand reporters I’ve met are those who are experts on certain topics or methods of analysis — feminist economics or regression analysis, for example.
GC: Which skills that you learned at The Graduate Center are most critical to your work as a journalist?
Duguid: The ability to critically assess sources of information and use them to build an argument and to write clearly and plainly.
GC: What’s your fondest memory of your time at The Graduate Center?
Duguid: I loved reading Hegel with Distinguished Professor Susan Buck-Morss (Political Science) and writing my thesis with Paisley Currah. Susan is among the best living Hegel scholars, and is responsible for one of the few truly original analyses of the master-slave dialectic in the last 50 years. It was a pleasure to learn from her.

Submitted on: DEC 12, 2019

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