Describe the steps you took to obtain your internship/research opportunity/fellowship.
I have shown interest in my community since high school, so when election season came around, the opportunity to be a part of a local campaign made itself available and I jumped towards the chance to aid my city and be a part of small local city politics.
How far in advance did you prepare and begin applying for your experiential learning opportunity?
I prepared for about a month prior to the start of the internship, taking detailed notes on my role in North Port over the years and what I would like to see from my city in the years to come. I also prepared diligently to plan what my role would be in the campaign and what I could bring to the table, and I took the time to brainstorm possible event ideas and outreach campaigns to target the youth vote and voters within my sphere of influence..
If you used any Career Center services, resources, or events to obtain your internship/research offer, what were they?
The ERP program gave me the tools I needed to be accountable and manage my time wisely, and it also gave me the opportunity to meet one-on-one with my supervisor and speak frankly about my progress and the areas where I can improve.
Describe some of your responsibilities or duties during your experiential learning opportunity.
Some of my responsibilities included facilitating regular zoom meetings for our campaign, maintaining a regular social media presence in order to engage with voters in a Covid-world where face-to-face contact is limited, planning and running campaign events (both in-person and virtually), and communicating with local food vendors and businesses for their support and donations.
What was a typical day like "on the job"?
I would wake up with an agenda of things to accomplish, such as reaching out to food vendors or creating a social media page for a campaign event. I would spend my morning on these tasks and take notes on the outcomes in order to share them during our afternoon campaign Zoom-meetings.
What are some major takeaways from your experience? How will these help prepare you for the next step after graduation?
Politics and the Law is a living, breathing entity, as are the people that live within the political and legal sphere. We must be ready and willing to adapt our political and legal strategies at a moment’s notice, as we never know what to expect, be it a change to legal or political doctrine, a global pandemic, or some other future unknown.
Did this experience help clarify your career path? If yes, how so?
Yes, it gave me first-hand experience and insight into local political campaigns and showed me tangible paths that I could take in order to make real-world contributions towards my campaign and my community.
Alberto Gonzalez III
"The ERP program gave me the tools I needed to be accountable and manage my time wisely, and it also gave me the opportunity to meet one-on-one with my supervisor and speak frankly about my progress and the areas where I can improve.”
Major: Political Science and International Affairs
Current Position: The Moore for North Port 2020 Campaign