How She Got That Internship is a series that highlights conservative women’s internships in various organizations and positions to inspire the next generation of conservative women to lead. Did you, or a young woman that you know, have an internship experience you want to share with our readers? Submit it in this form and we will contact you if we think it would be a great fit for the series.
Summer internship season is nearly upon us, and girls across the country are dutifully working to complete their applications in time to land the internship that might change their lives. FFL is sitting down with a number of interns to reflect on the best internships they’ve had and inspire others to try new things, step outside of their comfort zone, and be the best intern they can be.
Cameron graduated from Abilene Christian University where she majored in Global Studies. During her time at Abilene Christian University, she served as Communications Director for Abilene Christian University College Republicans. Cameron has spent her post-college life interning with the Dallas County Republican Party where she has done public relations work, election assistance, and GOP event management.
How did you find out about the internship opportunities with the Dallas County Republican Party and what was the application process like? How did your academics prepare for that internship?
I found out about this internship from the Dallas County Republican Party’s website where I submitted my application. I had an interview a few days later with the Dallas County GOP Executive Director and I was offered an internship on the spot. The Dallas County Republican Party staff wanted me to immediately assist with the 2018 Midterm Elections.
My academics prepared me for this internship because I had taken several political science courses and served as Communications Director for Abilene Christian University College Republicans. I improved ACU College Republicans’ communication by launching their official Instagram account, which gained over 500 followers and therefore contributed to membership growth which helped prepare me for the work on this internship.
What was a typical day like there? Did you mostly work in or out of the office, and how did that impact the connection you felt to the internship?
A typical day includes general office support, optimizing the calendar, making phone calls, assisting the staff with projects, editing the Dallas GOP weekly newsletter and updating social media accounts. I mostly worked at the headquarters and I have done off-site work as well registering voters, attending fundraisers and community outreach networking events I arranged.
My weekdays working at the office gave me the opportunity to network with candidates and staff from Senator John Cornyn’s campaign and Texans for Greg Abbott campaign, as well.
You interned post-college for the Republican Party, as opposed to during a college summer. How did that change the way you approached your internship? Were you treated differently because you were older, more responsible? How did it influence your career interests, since you were already post-college?
Interning post-college was a great decision for me because I could focus on gaining political experience without the stress of keeping up with classes. Therefore, I was able to work at the headquarters part-time five days a week. I was treated differently since I was older and had more responsibility, and I had interned at Dallas County Republican Party for over a year. The internship influenced my career interests because after engaging with Dallas County GOP staff, candidates, elected officials, and campaign staff, I could tell this was where I was meant to be.
Were there other interns? How much autonomy did you have in your position?
Yes, there were other interns who helped me work on projects. I have more autonomy in my position because I have interned for a longer period of time. I open the office, sit at the front desk, answer the phone, and I have access to Dallas County Republican Party’s email and social media accounts.
What kind of mentorship did you receive during your internship?
I received career advancement advice during my internship. I was able to communicate with my colleagues who have successful careers about how I can advance in politics because they know the specific work I have done and they have great connections.
What was the most valuable lesson you learned during your internship?
The most valuable lesson I learned during my internship was that I had the ability to get out of my introverted comfort zone by expanding my communication skills such as phone banking, blockwalking, arranging monthly events, and registering people to vote.
What are three tips you would have for someone else doing an internship there?
Network with candidates because you never know if he or she will become a major political figure in the future and they might ask you to help their campaign or be on their staff whether that is their district office, Austin office or Washington DC office.
Create business networking cards to give people in the political industry. I have two-sided cards, the front side has my name, cell phone, and email address, the other side lists my three main responsibilities 1) public relations 2) election assistance and 3) GOP event management. I passed out my cards to candidates, precinct chairs, a district director, and campaign staff.
Communicate with Dallas GOP colleagues. Sometimes the Dallas GOP staff work off-site so if you have little to do, reach out to them, ask them if they need anything.