Week 9: The Return Journey

The ninth week of this internship just so happens to be my final week. As I can see the finish line now, things are much more bittersweet. With only two more days left on the job, I am counting up all of the lasts: last phone call, last bit of research, last time I enter a new event into the calendar. Although I don’t really think I will miss being hung up on time after time or hearing people talk about just how Donald Trump will make America great again- this was definitely a very important experience for me.

Although I am not so sure that I will work on a campaign in the future, if I had the opportunity to repeat this experience I definitely would. I have gained a lot of new skills, learned about the inside workings of campaigns, and have made friends with people that are passionate about the same things I am. In addition to the value of the experience, one thing I find myself thinking is that I would not want to find myself in this position a few years from now. Although internships are about getting experience and finding out what you like, there is one thing that people don’t always tell you: internships are also about finding out what you don’t like.

I never would have known how disheartening I find phone calls to people who just don’t really want to talk or that I am not the type of person that can sit in an office for a full day, day after day. It was quite an adventure trying all of these things and a lot of it I really did enjoy but at the end of the day, not every job is compatible with every person’s personality. Several of my coworkers absolutely loved the atmosphere, work, and the prospect of talking about politics all day but for me, I think it is time for me to move on to something a little different.

Being in this position has allowed me to talk to so many different kinds of people in so many different life circumstances and it has showed me there are so many different paths I can take with the major I have and even beyond it. One woman that I spoke with told me that she studied Social Work as an undergrad. After getting her first job, she quickly realized that this wasn’t actually what she wanted to do. Instead of getting stuck, she made the best of the situation, stayed open to all the options that she could find, and eventually got into Information Technology. She told me that people often comment that she isn’t using her degree and that she simply replies by saying that she actually uses it every day. She is helping people and working one on one with others to make a difference, just maybe not the way she originally thought she would be. This story along with many other things this internship has showed me has let me see that the world is so interconnected and things are always changing. Just because I don’t necessarily see myself working on any more campaigns doesn’t mean that what I have learned isn’t relevant to my future or that it was any less important for me to do.

Regardless of any of that, I do really feel like I have helped to make a difference in my position this summer. Just the other day I was talking to a voter on the phone and they told me that just because of the call, they were pretty sure they would vote for Neil. These small victories are really what it takes to make a difference. A campaign is won one vote at a time and policy can be influenced just by having one of the right people in office.

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