No one can deny that the past few years have been tumultuous, especially when it comes to American politics. Birmingham native, Andrew Trunsky, has experienced this firsthand working in the journalism field covering the U.S. political scene.
“It was great growing up in Birmingham – a ton of fun and good friends. I was lucky to attend Cranbrook. Both my parents worked full-time, so I grew up with the example of them as hard workers which instilled that in me,” Trunsky recalled. “It was also a formative experience being a swimmer at Cranbrook and Birmingham Athletic Club, where I had great coaches at both places.”
After graduating from Cranbrook Schools, Trunsky attended Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where he continued his swim career as an All-American swimmer and majored in political science. Prior to his junior year, he had the opportunity to work as a summer intern in the office of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.
“It’s been helpful to come from the Detroit area, Michigan, and the Midwest, where you’re exposed to diverse views. My college was more homogeneous,“ he said. “I feel this helps me approach people with an open mind, empathy and understanding.”
Following graduation from Williams College in the spring of 2020, Trunsky accepted a position as a political reporter covering American politics and elections at The Daily Caller News Foundation. During this time, he worked remotely honing his interviewing skills, writing copy and meeting deadlines.
Trunsky noted that it was during this stepping stone work experience that his commitment to the journalism profession was solidified. “I liked talking to people, telling a story. It’s a cool field – an influential field with the opportunity for individualism – where you find the story and tell it through your voice.”
This past winter, Trunsky began working in the Washington, D.C. newsroom of The New York Times as an editorial assistant for Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, Maureen Dowd. In this collaborative role, he said he works with Dowd and her editors to support her writing with administrative responsibilities such as research, fact-checking and scheduling interviews.
“It is incredible. I learn more in a week here than at any other point in my life. I’ve met incredible people – it’s often surreal to meet the writers I’ve read and admired…Maureen is such an accomplished writer and has such an original voice. I learn so much from her and the environment.”
He adds, “When I was in college, I never expected to be where I am now – politics and writing. I always liked telling stories and listening, but the introverted side of me always liked to listen more than talk – which is helpful in this field.”
Trunsky offers this advice to aspiring journalists: “I’m saying this fully aware they’re hard for me to do – perseverance, practice, and persistence. I’ve had to invest a lot of time and hard work but it’s definitely worth it. The hours are irregular and odd, but it helps make journalism fun. It’s a field that is pretty competitive, but people are willing to give advice and help.”
At this point in his life and career, Trunsky is enjoying the present. “I’m just listening and learning as much as I can,” he said.
Story: Tracy Donohue