It is Friday 10:10 AM, July 24th. I am sitting at my desk, sipping warm African Redbush Peach Yogi Tea and checking my emails. The quote on my Yogi Tea bag says: Truth is everlasting. My office is shared with my boss, Bruce, but he is out of the office right now at call time with Congressman Boswell. Our office is a befitting jumblement of art ranging from Lichtenstein to old vinyl records from Funkadelic, framed photographs of Bruce with the Clintons at the White House on Christmas day, to framed Woodstock tickets. This morning I woke around 7:30 (after pressing snooze for a full hour… thinking of every excuse why I shouldn’t get up and go for a jog or a swim). No excuses seemed relevant, other than the fact that I was still tired from a busy week… or should I say busy last few months. An hour later, after finding an appropriate outfit that wasn’t amongst the pile of laundry that seems to increase at an exponential rate in the corner of my room, tumbling out the little laundry basket that is evidently not sufficient for my lifestyle; I make my way down the wooden staircase to the main level of my house and into the kitchen. Upstairs and downstairs my roommates are rushing around also starting their respective days. I open the fridge to stare in to a miserable looking shelf that either resembles the onset of a starvation diet or the scene of crime after a thief has stolen all your goods. Once again I remind myself, as I have been for th past two weeks, that I am due for a grocery run. I grab the almost empty carton of rice milk and in a very unladylike fashion do exactly what I had always scolded Thomas for doing. As I make my way to the door, I double check my heels are in my handbag before putting on my flip flops. If there is one thing I have learned about DC, is that every one (and I mean EVERY ONE) has a secret stash of shoes in their handbag… who do you think the monster bag was designed for?
And in a flash I am hurriedly walking the 20 minute commute down Massachusetts Avenue towards Union Station (a block from my office). I walk through two parks on my way home and notice the children playing on the see-saw and reminisce about summer days like those. I arrive at the office and catch up with my colleagues, Caitlin, who works in Congressman Courtneys office and Amanda, who works with me. And the day begins. I check my mail, respond to requests or confirm appointments… all the general morning maintenance issues that everyone has to deal with. It is now nearly time for me to leave, as I have to pick up a check in the city. As a political consulting firm, we handle the congressmen’s fundraising and PAC money, so I am off to pick up a contribution to a certain clients campaign…
But I will be back shortly…
Well, after a icky hot metro ride from Union Station to Metro Center, I picked up the envelope and made my way back to the underground of DC. On my way back to the office I did my usual stop at the corner market to grab a coke and an extremely unhealthy lunch of Ritter chocolate nut bar. Bruce then called and asked me to come over to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for call time with one of our congressmen. I grabbed our call book, which consists of call sheets for the lobbyists that contribute to the specific client, as well as the amounts they have contributed. There are very strict rules and regulations that the FEC (Federal Election Committee) enforce. It is our job to ensure that these rules are adhered to. So, I grabbed my laptop bag, the file and my handbag (changed into my flipflops again) and hit the streets. My walk from our office to the DCCC is about 15 minutes, I walk past the Hart Building, the Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Canon Building and the Florida House (Yes, that is dedicated to you Floridians! I think of you all every time!). I arrived at the D-trip (as it is referred to) and set up for call time. I then had to run over to the Fairchild building. And then back to the D-trip, where I researched some lobbyist info and created some more callsheets. When they call votes, the congressmen have to go and vote on various bills – this obviously delays our schedule and we, on many occasions, have to sit around waiting for votes to end to continue with our call time. The Congressman arrived at 3:40 and we started making calls to various lobbyists, requesting campaign contributions by inviting them to events (this is per FEC rules on giving). It’s a great time, just Bruce and I and the congressman. I am not going to lie, I have my favorite Congressman that we work for. It’s an interestng dynamic as it is almost an insiders view as I get to know the Congressmen on a more casual level. Tonight I do not have any events, but Tuesdays and Wednesdays generally mean non-stop work from early morning to 7 to 8 PM. It’s fun work though and generally consists of cocktail parties and receptions.
So, it is now 4:45 PM, the day has flown by and it’s just about the weekend. These past few months have been a whirl wind. It’s amazing who I have met and the interesting jobs I have done. As my position specializes in special projects, I am involved in a number of international political projects (something I am very passionate about). I have my daily routine of American politics, but on top of that my priority is the international aspect. That is a lot of fun and I feel as though we are making huge strides in that department. I can’t share too much on that aspect though, however, it is a part of my job that really motivates me.
My boss is absolutely amazing! I am the luckiest employee in the world… and he doesn’t even know I have a blog so it’s not as though he will read this. But, seriously, it is amazing how the people you work with can make or break your experience. In the past few weeks I have met ambassadors, had dinner with producers, had drinks with DC’s most powerful lobbyists and heads of multinational corporations. I have been to a series of great music events, ranging from King Sunny Ade to VIP and backstage at Jackson Browne. I have rubbed shoulders with the movers and the makers of the world and I owe it to Bruce for taking me under his wing and giving me a glimpse of what being an honest, kind and generous person can allow you to achieve.
If I look back life over the past few months, I cannot believe how much has changed – how I have changed and grown. A few weeks ago I was sitting at Starbucks applying to countless jobs; today I am an associate at a political consulting firm. I owe a big thank you to Lynn University for funding me to attend the ATHGO global forum last June. If I hadn’t attended the forum, I would never have met Bruce (my current boss) and wouldn’t have my job! I actually interviewed Bruce on camera at the forum and he thought I was a professional reporter. He stumbled over the interview and asked if he could do a retake… not realizing that I was just the media intern. I guess I made a good impression because every time someone asks how we met, that is the story he tells.
And now I start the next stage of my life as a professional in DC. And sadly my position as a blogger has come to an end. If there is one thing I can leave you with is grasp every opportunity that comes your way and reach for those that have not. During your time at Lynn, get involved, try everything and remember that you may not end up doing what you study. Take advantage of all the speaker visits that Lynn has on campus. Get to know your professors – today I still get emails for Dr. Watson, Jim Brosemer and even Matt Roos (who contacted me regarding the Alumni Reception we’ll be having in DC in September). I want to say a big thank you to Anna Krift (one of Lynn’s most prized professors) and her mom for their encouragement and support in following my blogs. Thank you to the Marketing Department for giving me the opportunity to share my wonderful adventure and to Admissions for my first job on campus. Being a campus tour guide earned me invaluable people skills that I use every day. Thank you to Kevin Ross for treating each student as an individual, rather than just a number. Thank you to Lynn University – for shaping me into the person I am today. You taught me to believe in myself and that even the undreamed of is a possibility at Lynn.
And for the last and final time: Thank you to all those who have followed my blog. I hope that you may learn from my experiences and enjoy many of your own at Lynn.