This past weekend, Democratic GAIN partnered with the New Organizing Institute (NOI) to host a Democratic and Progressive Career Fair in conjunction with NOI's RootsCampDC weekend. These events, which were held at Trinity College in Northeast DC, were not only well- attended, but were also deemed to be a great success by both employers and participants.
Over the course of the two day event, participants attended break-out sessions, panel discussions and the career fair, all of which were designed to not only help them connect with their fellow organizers, but also to provide insight into how they can further their careers in progressive politics and advocacy.
On Saturday, Democratic GAIN sponsored two discussions about finding a job and working in various political fields. Our “How to work in Advocacy” discussion was led by Greg Speed, Executive Director of America Votes; Cathy Duvall, Political Director at Sierra Club; and Tanya Tarr, Political Research Analyst at AFSCME and our “How to Work on the Hill” discussion was led by Chris Chwastyk, Chief of Staff to Rep. Chet Edwards; Danny O’Brien, Chief of Staff to Sen. Bob Menendez; and Lona Valmoro, Senior Advisor to Sen. Hillary Clinton. The panelists at both discussions shared the stories of their personal pathways to success and gave advice, feedback and encouragement to the participants. Democratic GAIN would like to extend a special “thank you” to our panelists for taking time out of their Saturday’s to impart their wisdom and knowledge to the next generation of political leaders.
The general message from the panelists was:
- Do good work
- Network, network, network
- Get your foot in the door (even if that means interning or taking what you think is a job below your skillset for a little while)
Don’t give up.
If you were unable to attend the discussions, you can read my own story and advice here
Sunday’s Career Fair showcased nearly 50 diverse employers from the democratic party and progressive movement, including (but not limited to) House & Senate Democrats, DNC, Democratic Party of Virginia, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Democracy for America, DLCC, and many, many other amazing unions, consultants, higher education establishments, and advocacy organizations. Participants were afforded the opportunity to speak with these employers about their organizations and their plans for 2009 while also learning about their current and future staffing needs.
Democratic GAIN would like to extend special thank you to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and their teams for representing both the House and Senate Democrats at the Career Fair, as well as all of the representatives from the various employers who were on-hand to discuss the various opportunities available to participants.
If you were unable to attend the Career Fair but would like to get your resume in front of these organizations, make sure it is updated and posted on the Democratic GAIN website! Many employers reminded participants that they often don’t post their open positions and only search the resume database when hiring.
On a final note, Democratic GAIN would like to express our thanks to all of the organizers, volunteers, participants and employers, all of whom made both the Career Fair and RootsCamp a huge success. We value your participation, and look forward to a bright future for the progressive movement!
We are having another Career Fair in New Jersey on Saturday, February 7th. Details are still being hashed out, but keep checking the Democratic GAIN Calendar, and make sure you are on our email list for more information as it becomes available!