Education and Grit Lead to Dream Job

Summer 2020 Issue

When Jessica Rubenstein ’11 moved to Washington, D.C., for her then-job as a graphic designer for Architect Magazine, she had no interest in working in politics.

“I was happy designing magazine layouts,” she says.

However, as the political climate began to shift in recent years, Rubenstein felt compelled to contribute using her inherent talent and landed a job as a member of CNN’s digital politics design team.

“Luckily I found a way to make a difference using the design skills I’ve worked hard on for the past decade,” she says. “That’s really a turning point in your career, when you find a way to do what you love and sleep better at night knowing you’re a part of something bigger than you.”

Today, Rubenstein works on the CNN website, helping with research and the design for the primary/caucus, state and general presidential election pages.

Additionally, Rubenstein has helped develop CNN Facts First, a database for journalists to share information and streamline fact-checking. Now, her team is working on making Facts First a public resource.

“I’ve been conducting interviews with people across the country who hold a variety of political viewpoints to learn what they’d like to see in a tool like this, how they might use it,” she explains. “My team will take these findings and design an incredible, truly useful tool.”

Reflecting back on her experiences at Susquehanna, Rubenstein believes her time there prepared her. “A foundation in design opens you up to so many career paths,” she says.

Augmenting her degree, Rubenstein developed skills in digital design, research and marketing. She would search online for jobs that she would want in the future, note the skills they were looking for in applicants, and actively work toward developing those skills. And for her, it paid off.

“I feel like you spend the first couple of years after college just trying to get your footing in your field, and then suddenly you wake up one day and all the work you’ve put in pays off and you’re qualified for the job you wanted when you entered college,” she says. —Rachael Blaine ’21

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