As I began my sophomore year at Oregon State University, I knew it was important to begin looking for internships and other work experiences. Not just to begin building my résumé, but to also to make sure I was studying a field of work that fit me and that I enjoy. In the middle of that school year, I was very fortunate to have found an internship opportunity that has not only proven to me that I’m studying the right major, but also has taught me more than I could ever imagine.
I started interning on Laura Morett’s campaign for State Representative in January. Since then I’ve done a number of different jobs ranging from phone banking to research and plenty in between. This campaign is my first work experience in the political field, so every task that I’ve been asked to do has been a learning experience for me. The type of experience and knowledge I’ve gained while working on this campaign are much different than the type I get while sitting in one of my political science classes. There are so many things that you can’t learn just from lecture notes and textbooks that I’ve learned from working hands on in the field. A great example of this is the work I’ve done involving direct voter contact, which mostly consists of going door-to-door, phone banking, and open events.
When I first started going door to door and phone banking I was actually very nervous. I expected to get a lot of doors slammed in my face and to get hung up on a lot, and sure I do still get a few of those, but for the most part people are interested in the information our campaign is sharing with them and they are receptive to me knocking on their door or calling them. It’s no secret that much of our country is frustrated with politics at the national, state, and local levels, so people seem to like the opportunity to get to share their ideas and frustrations with me over the phone or face to face, and our team loves the opportunity to get to hear what matters to the people of House District 20. It’s very common for Laura or I to end up having a forty minute conversation with someone who’s door we’ve knocked on or for people to thank us for getting out and trying to make a difference. The majority of the time I’m going door to door I’m actually with Laura, and people are surprised and excited to have a candidate that is knocking of the doors of the people that she hopes to represent. Democrat, Republican, or Independent, Laura will listen to all who want to share their ideas with her, and I’m very proud to work for a candidate whose mission is to serve her community and not just seek personal gain.
There’s no doubt that it’s a crazy time to work in politics, but if good people don’t step up to serve our great state and nation then we can’t expect to change the direction that our country is headed in. Laura is that candidate who is standing up for what is right and I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to help her.