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Guy King (MSJ17)

Director of Communications for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky

Guy King headshotSince graduating from Medill in 2017, Guy King has already attained the job he long wanted. Working as a communications director in the U.S. House of Representatives, King credits Medill with providing him with both the lessons and the connections he needed in order to succeed in political communication. The unique opportunities that King had while in Medill’s graduate journalism program allowed him to hit the ground running with the skills and confidence necessary to immediately contribute in his workplace.

What is your current role and what are your main responsibilities?

I am currently the Communications Director for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09). I am the spokesman for the congresswoman’s legislative agenda and priorities. I draft statements, talking points and press releases. I also run the Schakowsky’s press and digital shop. I spearhead her messaging campaigns on both traditional and digital platforms.

How has your Medill training helped you in your career so far?

The tools I learned and relationships I formed at Medill still aid me in my work today. What I learned from Dean Charles Whitaker was to always be fearless and diligent with everything I do. Professor Candy Lee taught me key strategic communications skills and how to intersect them with my passion for politics and public policy. Associate Professor Doug Foster always taught me to be my authentic self, because someone out there is always looking up to you. My Medill professors became my mentors and each and every day continue to equip me with the skills and qualities I need to reach my dreams.

How did the Medill network help you in finding your job?

During my last quarter at Medill, I knew that I wanted to be a communications director on Capitol Hill. Candy put me in touch with Congresswoman Schakowsky’s office while I was a student. After over a year at my first job of being a Capitol Hill communications director, I wanted to transition to work for a member of the Illinois congressional delegation, specifically of the Chicago delegation. Congresswoman Schakowsky’s Washington office had an opening and during my interview, I reminded the Congresswoman that we originally met during my Medill days. She remembered that, and I was hired shortly after.

What is an experience that stands out from your time at Medill?

There are so many experiences that stand out. One that resonates with me was during my second quarter. I was on the politics beat, but I really wanted to report on the issues South and West Side Chicago residents face. Charles informed me of an after-school program in the South Austin neighborhood called, “Kidz Express.” I covered it for Medill Reports Chicago. I interviewed students, the center’s board members and Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin. Being able to tell an impactful story of individuals who look like me, in Chicago, was something I always will remember. I will forever thank Charles for giving me that opportunity.

What advice do you have for someone considering Medill?

Being a student at Medill is something that will change your life. We truly take care of one another. Our alumni are very successful and our professors will be with you long after you walk across the stage. My biggest advice would be to visit Medill. The faculty and staff are warm and open. Witnessing the “Wildcat Pride” first hand will make it difficult for you to turn Medill down. Also, attending the number one journalism school in the country isn’t a bad thing.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Medill will equip you with the necessary skills and network to chase your wildest dreams. Never would I have thought I would be the youngest African-American communications director during the 115th Congress. What I learned from Medill and my network got me there!