Students in the Covering Washington course spend a weekend in Washington, D.C., to conceive, develop, report, and write an investigative story under the guidance of two veteran Washington journalists.

Journalism student Juliet Molz shared what the intensive weekend experience was like.

When my professors and classmates in Covering Washington met each other for the first time around a seminar table in D.C., it was simply fun to see the squares on my Zoom screen come to life.

But by the time we waved goodbye on the steps of the Capitol later that weekend, we had formed fast friendships, learned from one another, and shared a unique experience.

As a student in Harvard Extension School’s Journalism Master’s Degree Program, I jumped at the opportunity to take this course. I work as a content marketer in Washington, D.C., and I wanted to pursue my master’s as a way to upskill and reach the next level of my career. It’s been a challenging, enriching three years.

I’ve used the flexibility of the journalism program to take as many business, marketing, and communications courses as I can. (As a lifelong writer and English major in undergrad, I’ve even shocked myself by LOVING quantitative courses like Marketing Analytics!) 

This January, I completed my certificate in Digital Marketing Management and Digital Strategy through the program, and the strong foundational writing and research skills of journalism are reflected daily in my work.

A Weekend in D.C.

Juliet Molz.
Juliet Molz behind the C-Span desk.

Covering Washington was such an exciting opportunity. Industry in D.C. is a little different than in most cities, deeply tied to the federal government. I couldn’t wait to gain valuable experience covering the intersection of politics and business, plus build professional connections in this unique town.

The course was oriented around two reporting projects. I chose to cover government shutdowns for my first piece before diving into housing finance and the housing affordability crisis for my final story.

Our class met to discuss best practices and critique each other’s work, but the projects were classic, self-directed journalism: research an issue, discover an angle, and try your hardest to wrangle a sitting senator for an interview.

Our small group of intrepid reporters was led by Matthew Hay Brown of the Washington Post and Jessica Gresko of the Associated Press. Both were phenomenal instructors, full of sharp writing tips and practical career advice. Watching Matthew Zoom into several classes from the Gaza border really struck home to me that we were learning from working professionals at the top of their game.

During the weekend, Jessica and Matthew assembled guest lecturers who had covered the Justice Department, the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court, and more. 

It was a privilege to speak with them about their work and fascinating to peek at the realities of reporting behind the closed doors of D.C. institutions. From buttonholing members of Congress in the elevator at the Capitol to identifying Supreme Court justices from their voices alone, journalism in D.C. is a world of its own.

An Exceptional Cohort


I hadn’t anticipated gaining so much from the diverse experiences of my classmates.

After learning from one another over Zoom for several weeks, we engaged deeply with each other’s work almost immediately. My classmates routinely asked questions of our lecturers and each other that made me consider new perspectives on the issues we were covering.

The depth and breadth of fellow students’ expertise at Harvard Extension is as big a contributor to my learning as the coursework itself. It’s such an accelerator to embark on a program alongside other seasoned professionals.

A Capitol Experience


The places we visited together were a great privilege, too. At C-Span, we stood behind the anchor desk and in the thousand-blinking-lights control room, chatting with producers about the energy and precision that goes into filming live news.

And the Capitol was, of course, immensely special.

We were given access to the Senate press gallery — not typically open to visitors —where every major newspaper in the U.S. keeps a desk. I couldn’t get over seeing the white columns outside the windows as we listened to our lecture. I live three blocks away from the Capitol; for years, I’d stared up at it from the outside on my nightly runs, wondering what it was like to work there.

This is the room where it happens! I kept thinking.

We headed through a double door and continued the lecture as we peered down onto the Senate floor. Our guide graciously extended our tour, and we explored intricately painted back corridors and descended a marble staircase on the Senate side of the Capitol. 

We convened in the famous Ohio clock tower corridor where top lawmakers hold press conferences, passed Mitch McConnell’s office, and exited into the enormous Capitol rotunda packed with tourists. What an end to an enriching experience!

‘Do it again sometime?’

I emerged from that weekend with many kind, intelligent, professional connections, a wealth of experience on what it takes to enter and excel in multiple roles in journalism in D.C., and f energy and excitement for the rest of my studies.

I really did want to turn to my group to ask, “Do it again sometime?” It was hands-down the best experience I’ve had at Harvard.