Career Resources

Politics

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Politics Overview:

Whether it is working for a political party, a politician, a candidate, or for the advancement of a particular issue, there are many opportunities to get involved in politics. While there are many traditional political jobs available (such as being a field organizer or a congressional staffer), political work includes staffers from all different backgrounds and sectors including, IT, creative writing, media, and film. You might be a campaign field organizer. Working as a field organizer for a campaign of any kind is a fast-paced high responsibility position. Being at the frontlines of talking with voters and recruiting volunteers, field organizers build the base for the campaign’s person-person contact. Some responsibilities of field organizers include: recruiting volunteers, scheduling and supervising volunteers to work shifts and complete projects, and helping train and support volunteers. As a political staffer you would work to ensure a political office runs smoothly so the politician is aware of meetings, upcoming votes, and the concerns and interests of his constituents. Congressmen often have staff at various offices, both in their home districts and in Washington D.C. One of the positions that almost all Congressional offices have is a communications director. Communications directors are in charge of serving as a channel of communication between the Congressional office and the public and managing the flow of information to both the public and the press through interviews, press releases, and events. Many political staffers work over 60 or 70 hours a week, and campaign staffers could work as much as 100 hours a week.
 
If you're interested in politics, you might also want to explore opportunities in:
  • Government (work in federal, state, city positions)
  • Advocacy (work to advocate/lobby around a particular cause)

Politics Job Search

Starting in politics is as simple as getting involved. Whether it is interning or volunteering for a campaign, political office, political advocacy group, or government institution, building up a network of other political staffers and politicians is key to finding political jobs. By researching campaigns, issues, or work that you are passionate about, you can target the kind of work you want to get involved with. Finding jobs in political campaigns beings by building a network; whether it means volunteering for a campaign of your choice, interning at a political office, attending political conferences, or being involved with the political infrastructure of your city, district, or state. If you interested in working as a political staffer, find out the internship programs at various political offices. Many political offices will give hiring preferences to students who live or go to school in their area of representation. If you would like to get involved with campaigns, many political campaigns get more fundraising dollars to be able to hire more staff as Election Day draws closer, and many times campaigns will offer jobs to dedicated volunteers in addition to bringing in outside professional staff. You can find your representative with this search engine from the House of Representatives.

CCE Resources

  • LionSHARE hosts a wealth of opportunities for students and alumni. Under the job search tab, try key word searching ‘government,’ 'campaign' or 'advocate' or select‘government/administration/public policy’ in the employer industry menu. You can also use the Employer Directory tab to search for lists of organizations that have posted in the past. Many might have open positions on their web sites that they have not publicized on LionSHARE.     
  • CCE Sponsored Internships: Explore CCE's sponsored programs, including the Summer CCE Network in Washington, DC.

Columbia Resources

External Resources

Democratic-Liberal-Progressive Organizations / Job Posting Sites:
DSCC Internships - The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s list of internship opportunities for students.
DNC Internships - The Democratic National Committee’s page with information and the application for a summer internship. Also provided is information about additional funding for the summer.
DGA Internships - Information for students interested in interning for the Democratic Governor’s Association.
Center for American Progress - The Center for American Progress self-describes itself as an organization “dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action.” Students can find grassroots organizing internship program for various progressive issues. 
Hill Zoo - Centralized listing for internship/job posting from Democratic members of Congress.
PolitiCorps - PolitiCorps self-describes itself as a “national leadership development program and political organizing bootcamp through a combination of skills and policy classes, intensive field work, strategic planning exercises, and access to a broad network of activists, strategists, and policymakers.” Students can find grassroots organizing opportunities and training through the PolitiCorps summer and year-long program.
Grassroots Campaigns - Grassroots Campaigns self-describes itself as “an independent organization that does strategic consulting, fundraising, and field organizing for good causes and candidates.” Students can find issue-specific field organizing and canvassing work over the summer nationwide.
Campus Progress - Campus Progress self-describes itself as a “national organization that works with and for young people to promote progressive solutions to key political and social challenges through programs in activism, journalism, and events.” Students work in issue-specific field organizing and advocacy work over the summer and school year.
 
Republican-Conservative Organizations / Job Posting Sites :
RGA Internships - Internship information and application for working with the Republican Governor’s Association.
RNC Internships - Internship information and application working for working with the Republican National Committee.
NRSC Internships - Internship information working for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Hill Zoo - Centralized listing for internship/job posting from Republican members of Congress.
Leadership Institute - The Leadership Institute self-describes itself as an organization that “provides training in campaigns, fundraising, grassroots organizing, youth politics, and communications. The Institute teaches conservatives of all ages how to succeed in politics, government, and the media.” Students can post in a resume bank to get connected with potential employers as well as attend events.
Conservative Jobs - Conservative Jobs is an organization self-describes itself as a “free, online solution that connects conservative job seekers with potential employers.” Students can post their resume, receive resume review, and get connected to potential employers.
AEI Internships - Internship opportunities with the American Enterprise Institute which self-describes itself “a community of scholars and supporters committed to expanding liberty, increasing individual opportunity and strengthening free enterprise.”
Cato Institute Internships - Internship opportunities with the Cato Institute which self-describes itself as a “public policy research organization — a think tank — dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace.”
 
Non-Partisan / Job Posting Sites:
Job Listing with House of Representatives - Vacancies for the House of Representatives.
Resume Bank with House of Representatives - Resume bank run by the House of Representatives to connect prospective employees with Congressional offices and Congressional committees.
Find Your Representative - Search engine for finding individual Congressmen from the House of Representatives.
Hill Zoo - Listing of jobs from employers working in government relations.
 
Last Updated December 2014