Thursday, October 1, 2009

How to become a lobbyist pt. 2

Well, apparently, there are many who are much more effective at finding things on the web than I am. Somehow, I'm getting about one or two emails a week from young folks considering government affairs/lobbying as a possible career option.

I absolutely love these inquiries. To find younger folks interested in politics is really quite refreshing. I answer alot of the basic questions for them (what should I study, where should I look for internships, etc.), but one thing I always try and point out is to speak to lobbyists near them.

I'm a state lobbyist in Indiana. So if there is a student at Purdue, ISU, Ball State, etc., I am probably a perfect resource, but in the last week, I've gotten inquiries from California and North Carolina. I make it a point to offer the students some local lobbyists with whom to speak since I don't have a clue what it's like to lobby in those states.

I guess the purpose of this posting is to simply say: keep the inquiries coming. I love answering questions, and I love finding local lobbyists for young folks to speak with. Getting your foot in the door in politics isn't easy unless your family has a recognizable name in your state/community. If you don't have a recognizable name (I didn't), you have to work that much harder to prove yourself. Most young people aren't issue experts, so they get ahead early in politics by knowing the right people. Start internships and relationship building as soon and as as often as possible.

Sorry, kind of a rambling post, but I mostly just wanted to encourage young people looking into this career to start talking with folks locally asap.

1 comment:

  1. Zachary DeCrescenzoDecember 15, 2009 at 6:10 PM

    Hey there Mike,

    I'm currently a high school senior, looking towards college and, quite inherently, collegial majors. First I considered Medical School. Financial Security and the ability to say that I was a doctor were the main factors in making such a decision. However, shortly after making this decision I payed somewhat closer attention to the National Healthcare Reform talks, and after speaking with a doctor about his views on the Reform plans, decided that the Financial Security was no longer a guarantee. It was then that my Advanced Placement Government class began the study of Interest Groups, and then, lobbyists. The idea that I would be paid to be persuasive, eloquent and an effective representative enticed me, because I do my best to do these things daily. I was further allured by the job because I am, and always have been thanks to my politically active family, interested in politics. Like you, (I've read some of your other posts, but intend to read them all) I find politics too cutthroat for myself, but lobbying seems the perfect job for someone with my individual talents and interests. I plan to major in political science, but I was wondering how does one go about procuring internships? Are they acquired with phone calls, or recommendations? If I can start on this path early, then maybe I can secure a well paying job more quickly.

    Thanks for your time, and hoping you read this and find time to respond. - Zachary DeCrescenzo