We are proud to present Allyson C. Goodwin as our November Alumna of the Month. Allyson works in Washington, D.C. at DKW Communications as a Technical Writer, were she writes and edits policy updates for federal government contracts. She also works part-time managing her own event planning company, ACG Events. The skills she learned at Georgetown are essential in her current position and greatly assisted in the development of her business plan for ACG Events. Read more about Allyson and her advice to future journalists.
MPS Journalism: What are your responsibilities at your job?
Allyson C. Goodwin: As a technical writer my responsibilities include editing, writing, and providing feedback on policy updated from the Federal Government. I also manage my own event planning company, ACG Events, which entails the design, research, and implementation of events for my clients. I also provide content for the website and partner with other vendors to promote our businesses.
MPS JO: Why did you choose to attend Georgetown’s Journalism program?
ACG: When I began the Journalism program I wanted to be a writer and do more work in the field of cultural Journalism. I wanted to share my experiences with others and so I figured the best way to do so was through learning journalistic styles of writing, producing and delivering information. I wanted to tell my story as well as those of the voices we do not often hear or learn about. Now I am doing much of this work through my event planning company. I am able to tell the stories of true love, happiness, and perseverance through the events that I design, produce, and implement for others. I am able to design an event, within my client’s budget, that celebrates their milestones. I am writing and editing in my new position as DKW Communications and utilizing the skills I acquired in the Journalism program on a daily basis. I also started a book about my own experiences and the journey of navigating life in your twenties and hope to finish this next year.
MPS JO: How has your degree from the Journalism program helped you in your current job?
ACG: The skills that I learned from the Journalism program helped me gain my current position as a technical writer and develop a succinct business plan for ACG Events. This degree has also helped me to develop my brand as an entrepreneur who tells stories and transforms significant moments in the lives of individuals into event experiences they will never forget.
MPS JO: What was your favorite class in the MPS Journalism program and why?
ACG: Crafting Narrative Non-Fiction with Howard Yoon. Howard would always push me to dig deeper, to write better, to be more authentic and I appreciated that because it helped me capture things in my writing and learn things about myself that I did not already know. Howard was also my capstone instructor and again he pushed me to dig deep, to expand my reach and alongside Linda Kramer Jenning, who was the Capstone professor I developed a piece that I could be proud of and reflected my education.
MPS JO: What one piece of advice would you give current students who are currently in the program?
ACG: To make the most of the program. To really dig deep and find out what it is they want to gain from this program and really utilize what they learn in their everyday life. I would also advise current students to really connect with a professor or two and utilize this relationship to grow as a writer and an individual.
MPS JO: What do you think is the biggest challenge young journalists’ face, and how can they overcome that obstacle?
ACG: The biggest challenge that young journalist face is getting into the field. Journalism has changed a lot even in the last 5 to 10 years and many employers expect rookies to know how to do a little bit of everything, which can be challenging for someone who wants to write for online only or for print. I think the best way to overcome this obstacle is to know a little bit about different journalistic tools and utilize your free time to really hone in on the one or two that interest you the most. Starting a blog or submitting freelance pieces in the area you would like to focus on is a great way to build your portfolio and move in the direction that interests you the most.
MPS JO: What’s the most memorable piece you’ve published and why?
ACG: The most memorable piece I published was a Father’s Day reflection on my biological father who was absent most of my life. This was a very personal piece and I had to utilize many of the tools I learned in the Journalism program to write this piece as well as find my authentic voice and how I truly felt about the situation. Personal pieces like this will always be the most memorable for me because they force you to explore more about yourself, who you are and who you want to be.
MPS JO: In the recent months have you worked on any projects you are particularly proud of or have you had any unique opportunities in your career?
ACG: I am proud of my transition from Georgetown University to my current company, DKW Communications as well as gaining momentum with my event planning business, ACG Events. I am also very proud of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, a student run publication at Georgetown University that I advised for four years while working in the School of Foreign Services (SFS) Dean’s Office. On my last day in this position the 5th edition of the International Engagement on Cyber arrived. This was very poignant for me as this was theJournal definitely helped me to learn more about student journalism as well as the requirements for running and managing a publication.
MPS JO: What do you like to do in your spare time?
ACG: Planning my wedding and taking Beyoncé dance classes!
MPS JO: What’s the best way to network in this field?
ACG: Attending networking events with your peers as well as more experienced individuals in the field in which you wish to work. Also utilizing the networks you already have, including this Journalism program to build your brand, develop your career, and move to the next level.
MPS JO: Where do you see yourself in five years?
ACG: Running ACG Events full-time, teaching creative writing to college students, the author of at least one book and married with children. I am currently engaged to be married at Georgetown University next year. I owe much of my success and fearlessness to strive and take risks to having such an amazing partner and fiancé. Thank you Brandon Pinder! I would also like to thank my amazing parents, Carolyn and Pierre Lucas, who always encouraged me and taught me how to believe in myself. It really takes a village and my network of family, friends and colleagues who will assist me in reaching my 5 year goals!