Blog post 2: Internship Expectations

How has your internship differed from your beginning expectations? How has it been similar? Has anything surprised you about your internship?

Campaigns were once described to me as a “business of personalities.” Not only do campaigners have to manage the candidate and their own responsibilities, but we also have to be mindful of how others might interpret our actions. Being able to effectively manage up is an especially hard task to master, given that doing so in a way that is productive varies depending on who you are managing up to. These are lessons that I have learned while on the job. I didn’t fully understand the nuance of putting one’s pride aside to let others take credit for work you completed, if doing so meant the team as a whole was going to function better. I’ve also realized that most actions can’t be driven by affirmation – there are no “gold stars” for simply doing one’s job, and while there are short term benchmarks in this work, the true culmination of one’s work isn’t until Election Day. That is a long time to grind without knowing if all your hard work was worth it or not. 

I’ve also learned, and this should have been obvious, that no two campaigns are alike. My experience on this race has been much different than that of 2016, even though I am working for the same candidate. Being flexible is not one of my strong suits, so I’ve been challenged to accommodate to the changes from last cycle and learn to adapt. 

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