Where Are They Now?
Brittney Boehm ’09
Public Relations, minor in Speech Communication and Rhetorical Studies
Brittney participated in the Educate ’08 trip to New Hampshire for the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries in January 2008 and volunteered with the Obama campaign on debate day, helping with hospitality and preparations for VIPs and political dignitaries. She was lucky enough to meet President Obama and his key campaign advisor, David Axelrod. She’s held several public relations positions since graduating, and is now an account executive at Hunter Public Relations, working with food and beverage clients.
How did you participate in the Educate ’08 programming?
My involvement began in January 2008 when I attended the Democratic and Republican primaries in New Hampshire with Honors College. Being able to meet all of the candidates and witness the primary process in person was an amazing opportunity. Once the semester began, I enrolled in two (debate-related) courses – a political speech writing seminar taught by a former speech writer for President Clinton and a Democracy in Performance class. Taking advantage of all the opportunities that Hofstra had to offer leading up to the debate created a semester full of excitement and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
What did you do on Debate Day in 2008?
I was asked to assist Obama campaign with event set-up for the debate preparations at the Long Island Marriot. I oversaw the catering to VIPs and political dignitaries, and assisted directing attendees to the correct locations. This was an incredibly exciting position, allowing me to work closely with the Secret Service, meet David Axelrod and even speak with President Obama! It was a long day with many things to accomplish, but an experience I will never forget.
The next morning, I had the opportunity to be part of a satellite interview on CSPAN in which I was able to share my thoughts on the debate. I was honored to be asked to participate in a live national interview streaming from my college campus.
What did you take away from the experience?
Between my previous internship with Senator Clinton and working with the Clinton and Obama campaigns, I gained strong insights into the political world and how public relations strategies and tactics play a major role. Additionally, having been involved in more than one campaign, it was interesting to see the differences in the ways they were organized.
Throughout the year, I was able to meet a lot high-ranking political figures and their campaign teams, which allowed me to generate strong connections in the political sector. Reconnecting with Senator Clinton, two years after working with her, was a highlight of the process, as was meeting Ann Lewis, political advisor for Clinton’s presidential campaign.
How has your experience during the debate helped you in your professional life?
While interviewing for jobs after graduation, almost every employer I met with asked me about my involvement with the debate after seeing it on my resume. Not only was this a great conversation piece, but an impressive highlight that I think helped me land the job I have today.