(Originally written July 26, 2018)
I’ve just concluded my tenth week with For Our Future Ohio, and I’m feeling incredibly grateful to have been afforded the opportunity to acquire the expertise and professional connections I’ve been given thus far. This post will be primarily concerned with reviewing the goals and aspirations I’ve had for this internship, and evaluating the progress I’ve made toward realizing them.
Among my foremost initial aspirations for this internship was acquiring a more comprehensive understanding of campaign politics – the operations of a campaign, field strategy, communications, data analytics, and the laws and regulations governing campaigns and campaign finance. While there certainly remains much for me to learn, I feel I’ve made significant progress in developing my understanding of each of the above subjects. Indeed, having worked closely with For Our Future Ohio’s senior field staff, I’ve grown to appreciate the complexity of devising and implementing a statewide field operation – from hiring the necessary staff to understanding the social and political characteristics unique to each of the state’s regions and applying those to the broader field strategy. I’ve also been tasked with gathering various demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as voting data, and devising an insights report on each of Ohio’s regions – demonstrating firsthand the importance of data to field strategy and campaigning. Additionally, I have been introduced to R, a programming language used extensively for purposes of data analytics. I plan to continue to develop this skill, which is useful in both professional and academic contexts.
Another significant aspiration in beginning this internship was to better develop my political connections. This has been equally successful: simply in working for For Our Future Ohio, I have met leaders from across Ohio’s political sphere, as well as having connected with prominent community leaders and political figures in other states. One of our senior directors, for example, has placed me in contact with an acquaintance in Michigan with whom I hope to intern or work in the future.
Overall, the first ten weeks of my internship has proven immensely enriching, both professionally and personally. I hope to continue and accelerate my acquisition of knowledge moving forward!