October 2014

Christine Haughney...1998 NYWICI Foundation Scholarship Winner Christine Haughney. In preparation for the “real world” of business, Christine attended Wellesley College. She knew the school’s excellent student/faculty ratio, small classes and its academic community of high-value engagement, debate and cross-disciplined thinking would put her in good stead for her chosen career — reporter. And it was a good start. But after three years of working, Christine decided to attend Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, which she was able to do thanks to a 1998 scholarship from the New York Women in Communications Foundation. 
 
Graduate school “was one of the most fulfilling experiences,” Christine admits. “It enabled me to become the reporter I always dreamed about.”  She has worked for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post andCrain’s New York Business. Today, she is a staff reporter on The New YorkTimes. And she is very grateful for the role her scholarship played in her career: “I have been able to live out my dream of becoming a journalist. I get to wake up every day and write stories that I love reporting.” No doubt her readers feel Christine’s passion too.    

 

Here is a Q&A with Christine on how the scholarship has helped her grow in her career. 

 

Hometown: Lynnfield, MA

College, major and year of graduation: Wellesley College Political Science Major Economics Minor 1995, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism 1999

Year I won the scholarship: 1998 for my year at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism

How did you hear about NYWICI? Through Columbia's J-School

My favorite Matrix Memory: NYWICI held an amazing reception for its awards winners in Spring 1998 that welcomed me to this group of impressive women.

What was your dream job growing up? I wanted to be an investigative journalist.

What is your current occupation? Staff reporter at The New York Times.

What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it? The first job I tried to get after I received my NYWICI scholarship was at The Wall Street Journal. I attended a spring conference hosted by NYWICI and spoke with The Journal's recruiter. That meeting helped me land a spot as a finalist for a summer internship in the Atlanta bureau. But it sounded like I was unlikely to land the job and The Journal was going to pick a local candidate. So I went to a local student travel agency, found the cheapest flight I could to Atlanta, called the editor and told him I would be in town and asked to meet him. I didn't leave his office until he gave me the internship.

Describe an average day of work. Things move pretty quickly at the Times. The days can start at dawn depending on when news breaks and stretch until after 10 p.m.when pages are shipped, stories are posted online and I tweet updates about news.

What is the best part of your job? Since I started covering the media beat, I also have been able to meet more amazing and inspiring women than I have when covering other fields.

How have mentors helped you? They see things about me that I don't always see in myself.

Who are your role models? Several of my editors at The Times who have successfully balanced having a family and a stimulating career. I had a baby boy in January.  

If you weren't in communications, what would you be doing instead? I loved reporting on real estate. So I often wondered if I would enjoy doing something involving that.

The best advice someone ever gave me was: Make your own luck.

Is there a quote or a mantra you live by? I treat sources knowing that if I were to see them walking down the street the next day, that I could still look them in the eye, shake their hand and speak with them even after reporting some difficult news about them. 

What is one thing you wish you knew before you started your career? I would be able to achieve all of my wildest dreams. It would just take time and hard work.

What advice do you have for current NYWICI scholars and young women interested in pursuing a career in print journalism?  Don't be shy about reaching out to the amazing network of women. Be open to where media takes you because print journalism is changing so quickly.

 

— Taylor Trudon

 

The Online application process for a 2015 NYWICI Foundation Scholarship opens Nov. 22, 2014.