Fall 2013 "Careers In Politics" Panel Discussion

Fall 2013 "Careers In Politics" Panel Discussion

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Maha Neouchy
December 05, 2013

The Washington Center (TWC) recently hosted a "Careers in Politics" panel discussion for the Politics and Public Policy program interns. The moderator and three panelists are all TWC alumni who began their professional journeys when they came to Washington, D.C. for their internships with the program. The moderator and three panelists have backgrounds in lobbying, politics, public policy, and have held a number of federal positions. Moderating the panel was Max Gigle ('08), who currently works as the press secretary for Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D-GA).


The three panelists included:


They each shared their personal journeys, from the start of their careers to where they are today, providing both insights and advice about the successes and failures they have had along the way.


"Careers in Politics" Moderated Panel Discussion


Gigle kicked off the event by asking the panelists to provide insight into their work. Houton advised that "trust needs to be highlighted more than ever. My former interns are chiefs of staff now. You never know how circumstances will change or where you'll be one day. Whether it's a client pitch or job interview, it's important to maintain the quality of your relationships."


Polis said that the road to get to her current position was an incredible ride: "The three biggest takeaways I've realized over my career are never burning bridges because D.C. is the smallest city in America and there is just one degree of separation. Never lose your relationships; folks you're interning with are gateways to references. And finally network the heck out of your internships and people in your organization."


Kessler talked about the negative labels that professionals working in politics are associated with: "I have often noticed that when it comes to politics, there is a misconception of what people do. Working collaboratively with federal agencies is critical because Congress decides where money goes and which organizations receive it. If you're in politics in any form, all you have are your relationships and yourself. Developing relationships, maintaining them, and keeping them sound is probably the most important part of having a career in this field."


Advice on Landing that First Job


For many college students today, finding that first job can prove to be challenging. The last internship position that Polis hired for had an overwhelming number of resumes. She advised the Politics and Public Policy program to always keep "thinking about how to differentiate yourselves and how to use your networks. People that really want the job, go the extra mile and work hard. You're up against significant competition. People will advocate for you if they think you're very invested as long as it's channeled in a good way."


A Special Thank You


TWC would like to thank all of its alumni and the rest of the community of 50,000 who are accomplishing great work all over the world!


In so many ways, TWC alumni continue to "pay it forward" and provide a pillar of support for students, and for each other. For more information on upcoming alumni events and ways you too can "pay it forward," email the Alumni Office at alumni@twc.edu, check out the Alumni Facebook Page and LinkedIn Alumni Community, or fill out our alumni involvement form.

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