Alumni Spotlight: Max Gigle '08 on the Importance of Making Connections in DC

Alumni Spotlight: Max Gigle '08 on the Importance of Making Connections in DC

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Christian Holm
October 06, 2014

After spending a semester with The Washington Center in 2008, it took Max Gigle just a handful of years to break into Capitol Hill’s inner circle. His internship with American Turkish Council helped lead to a staff assistant position with former U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT). Less than half a decade later, Gigle’s still a fixture on the Hill, serving as communications director for Rep. Sanford D. Bishop (D-GA).

 

As his career in politics advances, Gigle maintains a close relationship with TWC by attending as many D.C.-area gatherings for alumni as he can. He’s also an invaluable congressional insider for TWC students. He secures space in the Capitol Visitor Center nearly every semester for panel discussions with fellow alumni and political pros – a thrill for students, especially those with internships outside the Capitol. Gigle also connects interns with positions in congressional offices and makes time to speak with others for informational interviews.

 

He took a few minutes away from the halls of Congress to speak with TWC’s Christian Holm about his work on the Hill and why TWC remains a major part of his life.

 

Capitol Hill is the ultimate career destination for political junkies and those pursuing public service. Why is it such a satisfying career choice for you?

 

There are many types of people that work on the Hill. Some work here for three months and figure out that it’s just not for them. Some work here for three years to enhance their careers in public service and jump-start their careers elsewhere. Others are here for 30 years and are an essential part of running Congress. For me, working in the center of a living history and the policy debate is very satisfying. I believe people are here to serve the public and help the constituents they represent, and it’s a great feeling to be a part of that process.

 

What is the one thing you think can change the Hill for the better?

 

More TWC interns, of course! I do think interns bring a specific vibrancy to each office and in a way bring a more productive dialogue to the Hill.

 

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone pursuing a political communications career?

 

Keep a thick skin and don’t take things personally.

 

What keeps you coming back to TWC?

 

When I came to Washington [from the University of Connecticut], I wanted a program that offered a solid structure and set of resources that could help me make the transition from school into a career. To a certain degree, D.C. runs on interns – certainly, Capitol Hill is a prime location for industrious interns and those trying to work their way up. Without that first job, starting a post-college career in D.C. can be difficult. Through its program and network, TWC helps make that transition seamless. I’m very grateful for the start TWC gave me and in turn, would like give back and do my part in ensuring the experience will be useful to others.

 

Is there something about your TWC experience that is still impacting your career?

 

The relationships I established through TWC have been deeply important to me, on both a professional and personal level. I still keep in touch with many of the connections I made at TWC and over time, the friendships, education and information shared have helped lead me to where I am today.

 

What would you say to encourage more alumni to engage with TWC as you have?

 

Reconnecting is refreshing! I would tell alumni that there is no better way to network with other professionals than through TWC events, where you already share a common bond of your internship experience. On top of that, the events are fun and continue to grow year after year.

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