My internship with the Democratic Coordinated Campaign was a really amazing experience. I learned so much in such a short time and I’m really proud to say that I’m going to continue learning. My Regional Field Director offered me a full time position as the field organizer for my part of the state and I happily accepted. I’ll definitely miss Tulane for the fall semester, but I’m also incredibly excited about this career opportunity.
Hard at work! (And making an appearance on the campaign blog http://markwarnerva.com/campaign-news/weekend-action/ )
As I was hoping to, I learned a lot about careers in politics, especially because I am beginning one! I feel very comfortable with talking to any strangers, getting yelled at on the phone, and planning events for the campaign. I would advise anybody who would like to work with a campaign to just sign up to volunteer and work really hard. A career in campaigns is all about networking. At training, they joked about us being able to throw our resumes out the window now, but it really is true. Almost everyone I’ve talked to on the campaign got the job because they had worked with someone in the past. It’s just really important to work hard and do a good job in any situation because your coworkers could look to hire you in the future.
My favorite part of my internship, and now my job, is that I feel like I’m actually making a difference. I really am committed to electing Senator Mark Warner and Norm Mosher and that makes all the work worthwhile. I really hope that my efforts will help the voter turnout in a midterm election.
Going back to Tulane, I’m excited to build off the experience that I’m having. I plan on declaring a double major in Communications, because that’s the side of campaigning that interests me the most. My goal is to work with a political communications team in my next internship. The future is still very unclear for me, but I’d love to work on another campaign in the future, even if I have to finish school first!
I’m checking in a little bit late for my internship’s midpoint. Everything moves so fast on a campaign and you really have to jump in with both feet, so it was difficult to determine when to best write this post.
My learning goals have been progressing really well. All of the field organizers are really great and I’ve learned a lot about the diverse paths that led them to campaign work. They’re all recent graduates so they’re great to turn to for advice on college. My telephone skills have improved dramatically because I make around 150 phone calls every day. I’ve learned to deal with almost any situation. I’ve also learned a lot about Senator Warner’s views and stances. This past Saturday at the Hanover Tomato Festival, I had the opportunity to interact with the (largely Republican) constituency and there were many lively discussions between the attendees and the Hanover Democratic Committee. I’ve gained a lot of experience with events, most importantly the Richmond field office opening for the campaign. Senator Warner and Senator Tim Kaine were there as well as other important Virginia Democrats. It was exciting to see the office go from drab and empty to being filled with people and enthusiasm.
The office filling up!
It’s not an office opening without snacks!
One way I was able to see my growth on the campaign was the day my supervisor went out of town and he trusted me to help guide a high school age intern through canvassing and data entry. Another proud moment was when he said the interns had to slow down on our calls because we were making the full time employees look bad.
This internship is a really exciting opportunity for many different reasons. I’m definitely building my people skills and learning a lot about campaigning. Another fun aspect is the networking! I’ve been able to meet many important Virginia politicians and their staff.
Some of the field staff with Richmond congressman Bobby Scott
I’m sad that my internship is winding down, but I’m looking forward to seeing how the last part progresses.
This summer, I’ll be working on Senator Mark Warner’s re-election campaign. I’m an intern with the field staff, so I work on campaign events and voter outreach. I work primarily in the Richmond office, but I’m the intern for the Northern Neck which is a more rural area of Virginia closer to where I live.
This post is summing up a little more than a week for me. I actually started my internship on May 19th, but that week was spent in a transitional state because the field organizers had not yet been hired and the campaign’s “kick off” tour was scheduled for the following week. I primarily worked on reaching out to voters and inviting them to events. Unfortunately, I had to miss the kick off events due to a family emergency, but I was excited to get back to work this week.
This week, we began coordinating our official office opening at the end of the month. This has meant getting the office in order and contacting supporters in the area to invite them. Getting the office in order is probably the more daunting task. It’s been empty since the Kaine campaign in 2012 and we have already found one squirrel in the building.
The campaign staff working in the newly squirrel-free office!
Today, I got to meet the field organizer responsible for the Northern Neck who will be my boss for the rest of the summer. I’m really excited to work with him on planning events in my area and getting voters enthusiastic about Senator Warner’s campaign. This summer, I really hope to learn the intricacies of planning campaign events and maybe even plan my own event. I also want to learn more about a career in politics and how the members of Senator Warner’s campaign staff came to be in their current positions. No matter what, I think my summer with the campaign will be an interesting experience.