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The Interview: Jennifer Williams

First on the national scene doing work with ESPN and now here in the DC area with CSN Washington, what’s the journey been like for you and how did you get here?

Jennifer Williams: A lot of hard work! At ESPN there are so many talented people and amazing opportunities. Once I started hosting a fantasy hockey segment for ESPN mobile, I knew digital was where I needed to be. After earning a masters in digital media, I worked on everything from ESPN3 to ESPN mobile to ESPN’s local sites.

A self proclaimed sports and digital nerd, the chance to be a hybrid (producer, writer, host) for a major website covering an NFL team in a thriving metropolitan area is a dream job. I was ready for the next step in my career and CSNwashington was the obvious choice. CSN’s digital team has got their finger on the pulse too. Make sure you check out our Facebook and twitter pages. There’s always great content and sometimes even ticket giveaways! You know I had to sneak a shameless plug in. 🙂

Being a New England (Connecticut) girl, does your sports loyalty stay at home or does it move with your job? How invested do you get in to the local DC teams?

Jennifer Williams: Well, I’m from ‘The Heartbeat’ (that’s Hartford, CT for all of you who don’t know), which means I’m still mourning the loss of the Whalers. But don’t rest on the 860 – CT does have minor league teams like the New Britain Rock Cats and the Hartford Colonials. I went to Trinity College as an undergrad and we have an amazing D1 squash program. Don’t act like you don’t know about Trin’s 13 consecutive national titles!

So, something tells me my fandom won’t affect my ability to get the job done in D.C. You gotta have respect for D.C. fans though. If I had a GTown cupcake for every time I saw a ‘Skins bumper sticker or a hat, I think I could pass for a linebacker. Seriously though, Washingtonians stand by their team. Try to name me a more devoted fan base in the NFL.

I know this question gets played out but every woman answers it differently… What are some of the biggest challenges being a female in a male dominated profession? Does being attractive help you or hold you back?

Jennifer Williams: Everyone defines ‘attractiveness’ differently. People catch breaks a lot of different ways, but longevity in any field is about focus and dedication. Nothing undermines all the long hours I have put into my career. Slowly, but surely I’ve been chipping away at my 10,000 hours. That’s a little reference for those who are familiar with Malcolm Gladwell’s work.

Covering the Redskins, what are your feelings on the lockout and do you think there will be football this year?

Jennifer Williams: The lockout has thrown everything off, like free agency. The Skins’ definitely have a few players in lockout limbo. The rookies can’t really get into a rhythm either. There will be football, it has become more of a matter of when. It all boils down to the all mighty dollar. A lot of money will be lost if just one pre-season game is canceled due to the lockout.

What do you expect out of the Redskins this season, if there is a season?

Jennifer Williams: Nothing prepared me for covering the ‘Skins! Ask me this question after the QB “situation” gets straightened out.

With the NBA Playoffs down to 4 teams. Dallas vs Oklahoma and Chicago vs Miami. Who is your favorite to win it all and what have been some of your favorite moments during the playoffs this year? I was rooting for the Bulls-I can’t believe they lost the lead in game 5, unbelievable. Now, the Mavs have been reDIRKulous! Nowitzki and Kidd want a ring so badly, it’s now or never. The Heat’s time will come, but I think the Mavs will show them how it’s done.

Dunks are nice and flashy and all, but I was in sheer awe of Rajon Rondo’s performance in game 3 versus the Heat. Hands down my favorite moment so far. That’s laying everything you got on the line. Love the Celtics and what that organization stands for.

Sexy, smart and knowing sports… You are a dream girl. What are some things you look for in a guy?

Jennifer Williams: Who me?! One of my co-workers used to call me Lois Lane. I try not to bust out the digital diva too much… My career is my first love so he (or she) better be able to keep up with me. I’m in touch with my inner dork so I tend to go after the funny ones, who win their fantasy championship…HOTT! And yes I meant two Ts.

Being in DC now, what have been some of your favorite restaurants, clubs to check out and which ones do you have planned on getting to? What’s your favorite spot?

Jennifer Williams: Crushing hard on the DMV! Love it down here! For a social chameleon who can have fun wherever, there is a lot to see and do. Arlington is chill. My fav spot is Bocatto Gelato. Right down the street is Spider Kellys, as well as Ri-Ra, an Irish lad by the name of Tomas will be delighted to get a pint. Don’t forget to say hi to my girl Kellie if you pop into O’Sullivan’s.

As for the District…Love the bar in the lobby of the St. Gregory hotel on M St. They have an appetizer that is 3 different types of french fries, need I say more? Hook in Georgetown is amazing. A little pricey though, not a baller just yet! When I’m out with my girls, Policy on 14th, is my spot complete with a stop to Ben’s Chili bowl in the U – street corridor. I want to check out Rock and Roll Hotel soon too. I didn’t even mention Adams Morgan or Dupont Circle yet!

Sports wise-Caddies in Bethesda is a great sports bar. Honestly though, my girls were down from CT and we hit up a Nats game. It was gorgeous out and was the perfect way to spend a day in D. C.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What’s next for Jennifer X. Williams?

Jennifer Williams: Who knows where digital/social media will be in 5 years? I would be only limiting myself by defining a path. I can guarantee it will be a road less traveled. Digital media is progressive, it’s imperative that I am a game changer. I can’t share all my secrets, but what I do know is that I’ll be at the top of my game. Everyone also asks me if I want to be the next so and so…

Maybe I just need to be the next Jennifer X. Williams.

Find more from Jennifer

Follow Jennifer X. on twitter… @JenXperience

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