Courtney Spence on Learning Work Ethic Working For Hillary Clinton

In Chapter 1 of 15 of her 2010 Capture Your Flag interview, non-profit executive and Students of the World founder Courtney Spence answers "During your experience working together in her press office, what did Senator Hillary Clinton teach you about work ethic?"  Spence shares how after graduating Duke University, she started working for Senator Hillary Clinton in her Washington D.C. press office. Senator Clinton inspires Spence through her rigorous daily work ethic including routine, preparation, and team engagement.


Erik Michielsen:  During your experience working together in her press office, what did Senator Hillary Clinton teach you about work ethic?

Courtney Spence:  She is the definition of incredible work ethic.  She was working from 7AM to 11PM every day.  And even when she had her few minutes off she would want to go throughout the offices talk to the interns and talk to people working and say, “Hey, how are you doing? Gosh, it’s so hot out there! What is this climate change thing? We gotta do something about that.”  She was just always thinking and always working and I think as a woman who has overcome so much and has become so successful, she is certainly an incredible role model for me.  And someone that I, as a young 22 year old - my first gig out of college - being able to be in her Washington office, watch her, learn from her, see that she would maybe, might get knocked down, but she’s gonna come up and come up stronger. I don’t think I would be the person I am today without that experience because after just being in her office for a month, I started getting to the office – I wanted to be the first one there.  I would wake up at 5 o’clock and I would be at the office at 6:30 – the doors would be close and I would just wait in the hallway until they opened.  Because I knew if she was working, I wanted to be working.  And I think that experience changed my life forever.

Erik Michielsen:  How did she make you feel part of the team?

Courtney Spence:  First of all she had such a large team, you know, she took the time to make sure that she said hello to everyone and made they were doing alright.  And then for me, the way she made me feel a part of the team was that – I worked in her press office, so I would sometimes do her press briefings before different interviews.  So, I would walk in and I had my little type sheet and here was everything I did all my research on here’s – and she would go through and sometimes she wouldn’t even have to look at it and I would sit back in the interview and I would just watch her incredible memory, her incredible passion.  It was great because I had to do the research, so I learned about what she was about to speak about, but in all honesty though she didn’t even really need that.