Lessons in GSG HERstory: Celeste Carswell

Professional Life and Accomplishments

In 100 words or less, tell us about your career path.

In college, I heard an inspiring guest speaker talk about his firm’s work with The Human Rights Campaign in Los Angeles. My interest in public affairs and communications was born! The next semester I interned for him and then several firms in Los Angeles working on California issues. But I was interested in national politics and knew a move out to DC post-graduation made sense. That’s when I found GSG, and the rest is history!

Who are your female mentors, role models, favorite trail blazers, or heroes? 

My high school best friend is one of my biggest role models. When she was studying to become a registered nurse and working at a local hospital, she noticed too many women she treated could not afford basic sanitation products. She was immediately called to action and started an organization to collect and dispense products to women’s shelters. The movement spread fast and later merged with larger organizations with the same goal. She acts when she sees injustice, and I think that is something to be admired.

What would your co-workers be surprised to know about you?

I’m a black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do.

What is the best piece of advice you would give (or have already given) to women starting out in our industry?

Build your network, be personable, and get to know the people you work for. Ask women (and men!) to coffee, network, stay to chat if a meeting ends early, etc. Creating relationships is important and doesn’t happen overnight, so start early and put in the time.

More about Celeste   

What do you do with 30m of free time?

Figure out how I can maximize my credit card points on travel, and that’s the truth.

Who would play you in a movie/tv show?

According to this Buzzfeed quiz, Emma Watson, which is beyond exciting.

*Editor’s note: This quiz has also cast Tina Fey as Maryanne, Mindy Kaling as Kerri, and Emma Stone as Nicole.

What is your favorite TED talk, podcast, or book?

TED Talk: Shawn Achor, The Happy Secret to Better Work.

Podcast: The Daily (As the DC office knows all too well!)

Best book I’ve read recently: Beneath A Scarlet Sky