One thing that helped me stand out in the industry was working on a political campaign.
In 2007, I started my master’s degree in communications and, one year later, took an internship with a PR firm. Waste deep into the internship, the 2008 presidential elections were well under way and one of my mentors came to me and asked if I’d be interested in working on the campaign trail.
At first, I didn’t know what to say. I had no experience in politics and wasn’t sure where it might take me. Before I could answer, my mentor told me to take the job, insisting it would greatly affect my future. Turns out, he was right.
Almost four years later, I’ve seen the inside of the Pentagon, worked for cabinet-level members, written speeches for Congresswomen and had various opportunities to work on great initiatives in the private sector. I credit my campaign experience and the support of my mentors as the main reasons I’ve had such a fruitful career path thus far.
So, if you’re willing to put in long hours for little pay—familiar conditions in the entry-level PR world—to gain experience and bolster your resume, you might want to consider joining this year’s campaign trail.
Here are some additional, important reasons as to why working on a political campaign can be an asset for young PR pros: