If you’re interested in a career in government or you’re looking to become involved in the political sector, there are ways that you can get your foot in the door even while you are still in college. There are so many different fields within the umbrella term of government and politics, and you have a wealth of knowledge and opportunities to explore what you enjoy the most or find the most intriguing.
Write for the Daily Campus or other school newspapers! This kind of position allows you to conduct political research on the local, state, and federal levels to inform your fellow students about governmental happenings and learn more individually as well. Taking on a role like this forces you to take a proactive approach to your learning and it gives you the skills and experience to become well-versed in the world of government.
I suggest to any students considering a career in politics, government, or law to run for student government, join a committee, or participate in political advocacy groups if that is where your interests lie! It’s a great time to get that kind of experience that mirrors the work being done outside of college campuses as well, so you can see if this is a career path you would like to pursue.
Get involved in local elections, see how the entire election process works, from canvassing to securing donors to eventually voting. Seeing how a government operates from the ground up is an invaluable experience that you can get even without any background or prior knowledge.
Even if you are not a political science major, take introductory government courses through those departments. You can study domestic or global government, both of which are crucial to having an adequate understanding of global politics, and learn about the role of history of the United States and overseas in how we create policy today.
In the same breath, I encourage students to take advantage of all the academic-sponsored opportunities available at their university. UConn offers a program called the Honors Congressional Internship Program, where students who apply and are accepted can intern in Washington, DC with one of the five members of the House of Representatives or two Senators from Connecticut. It is open to all sophomores, juniors, seniors, regardless of whether they are enrolled in the Honors program or not. If you want to learn more about this opportunity and apply for the coming school year, visit https://honors.uconn.edu/hcip/.
Government is an accessible career path, regardless of how untouchable it may seem if you’re approaching it with little to no experience beforehand. However, the resources you have during your time as a college student are unique to your time here in that they are abundant, but they can also have expiration dates; take advantage of them and get the exposure you want and need!