April 15, 2020

Spotlight on Clark New Hire & Jeopardy! Contestant Emma Farrell

Emma Farrell, a senior at Carnegie Mellon University and future Clark Civil engineer, is celebrating more than just her impending graduation these days. A proud Tartan and Pennsylvania native, Emma recently had the opportunity to represent her home state and school as just one of 15 individuals to earn a coveted spot in the 2020 Jeopardy! College Championship.

We caught up with Emma, who has been dreaming about being on Jeopardy! since grade school, to learn about what it’s like to be on the popular game show, how she prepared, and what she’s looking forward to most about joining the Clark team.

What was the most memorable moment of being on Jeopardy!?

Meeting and spending time with the other contestants.

I loved hearing about everyone’s college experiences, hobbies, and career aspirations. The other contestants and I forged strong relationships with one another and remain close. We are currently watching the Championship together and reacting to the social media attention!

What inspired you to audition for the show?

I've been a Jeopardy! fan since I was in the fourth grade, so when I saw a prompt to audition for the College Tournament during my senior year, I thought, “what better way to wrap up my educational experience than to be audition for Jeopardy!

Even after advancing to the in-person audition phase, I didn't think I would actually make it onto the show.

It was a total surprise to see the California number pop up on my phone when I got the call in January.

How did you prepare for your episode?

I watched a lot of Jeopardy! reruns on Netflix and Hulu. You'd be surprised how many similar categories there are and how many patterns the writers like to incorporate.

I’m a double major in civil and environmental engineering and history, so I was also hoping both of those would come in handy.

How did you stay calm under pressure?

Throughout the process, I focused on deep breathing and remembering that “every experience presents you with an opportunity to learn and grow.” There is always a silver lining.

For the live taping, it definitely helped to have my parents in the audience. I could almost pretend like we were playing along together at home in our living room.

What are you most looking forward to when you join Clark?

I'm most excited to get to know the people at Clark!

I loved the conversations I had with the Clark team members during my interviews and am excited that they will be my colleagues in just a few short months.