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How do I go into a career in political strategy?

I'm a senior in high school interested in politics and political science.
#political-science #politics

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Madi’s Answer

I've noticed in Britain (UK) at least that if you take an Under-grad Degree (Bachelors) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics it prepares you well for a career in politics. Also, if you combined that with International Relations at Masters level, you'll be a great candidate. Of course, you need to start volunteering yourself for different kinds of political campaigns/elections at local/ regional levels. Some grassroots campaigns give you a good grounding in politics too. Check out the work done by the Obama Foundation for example and find some internships at political organisations.

Hope this helps.

Madi recommends the following next steps:

Volunteer for a local political/ election campaign
Join a grassroots movement for a rights-based cause
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice! Mikaela Q.
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Joshua’s Answer

Find a political consulting firm where you live that conforms to your beliefs and ask them to see if you an volunteer on any campaigns they are working with; specifically around nominations, campaigning, fundraising and volunteerism. The nomination piece is heavy in strategy.

Listen to the commentary sections on the news outlets and listen to what the political strategists talk about.

In short: How do we win?

Good luck!
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Quinci’s Answer

Basically your most common stable political strategy jobs are being some type of teacher/professor. Other than that you can be a news reporter or do canvassing fundraisers. Also you can try to gather signatures from your cities next city council election to become apart of your cities council and maybe work your way up to becoming a major and then go into your government elections if you have enough sponsors and money to be elected.
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Samuel’s Answer

Greetings and salutations! My name is Samuel Colis Achiles, a current graduate in Cal State Dominguez Hills. During my 5-year experience attending that college, I’ve attended several classes that are politically-themed. Examples are Africana/Chicano Studies, Cultural Arts, History, etc. Upon attending these classes, I have had a whole new perspective regarding politics.

My feedback through this experience is that in order to excel in, or let alone apply for a career in political strategy, you need to understand that politics is a forum of differing opinions and ideologies. Therefore, my best advice to you is to take up Public Speaking courses to increase your skills in rhetoric. In addition, research and study on different histories, in order to expand your perspective on different viewpoints. It is because it is imperative that you study different sociopolitical and socioeconomic perspectives in order to effectively address the political issues at hand.

That is all the advice I have in this regard. I hope this helps!
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Taylor’s Answer

Hey there! As others have said, there are lots of ways to get involved in political strategy. Find an issue you're passionate about and see what local or national organizations work on it. You could approach them about an internship, and this will give you valuable connections. It may introduce you to representatives, politicians, and their staffs working on those issues.

One additional piece of advice that I could give you is about data. A lot of political strategy is looking at numbers and seeing where key voting cohorts live, making tough calls about where to invest campaign resources, and predicting which way voters will swing. In order to do this, you need to be well-versed in statistics and data. Besides an education in political science, you may want to consider courses that will give you experience with data analysis. These would include basic computer science courses and math courses. There's no need to overwhelm yourself with "tech" stuff, but acquiring at least a basic literacy would be helpful.

Of course, if you go to a technical university, you may not need to enroll in extra tech courses. I studied International Affairs at Georgia Tech, and we learned statistics and computer science in my political courses. Anything I did after that was just to refine my coding skills.

Good luck!

Taylor recommends the following next steps:

Volunteer/intern with a politician's office or political organization that you care about
Consider courses that will prepare you to process data about voters/political issues
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Mikaela Q.
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Elisa Ferrara’s Answer

I'd recommend volunteering for a political campaign and getting on the ground experience with campaigning. Interning with an elected official would also give you some background in how politicians have to operate once in office. College majors that would complement the experience would be political science, government, politics, international relations, and economics.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice! Mikaela Q.
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Nikki’s Answer

Hi Mikeala,

To add to the above answers, I would also recommend getting involved in political-related clubs at whatever college you choose, whether that's a party-specific club such as Young Democrats or Young Republicans, or issue-specific and advocacy clubs like Planned Parenthood Generation Action. You can also consider running for student government positions. Involvement in political student organizations will help provide you with leadership skills and connect you to local political leaders in your area, opening up the potential for future internships or positions on campaigns helping with political strategy. While internships on Capitol Hill might be a goal in your future, don't forget about local races for positions like City Council, School Board, etc. that will often need grassroots support from young college students to support their campaigns.

Also, consider diversifying your undergraduate coursework and experiences to gain insight into all facets of political strategy, such as commmunications/press work, financial and donor work, or policy research and development. This will make you a more well-rounded candidate for future political jobs and also may introduce you to a specific area within politics and campaigns that you're most interested in.

Finally, here are some links to other youth-driven political organizations and movements that can help you start your path in politics now:

https://nextgenamerica.org/2020-plan/
https://www.organizingcorps2020.com/

Best of luck!

- Nikki
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Taylor’s Answer

Hey there! As others have said, there are lots of ways to get involved in political strategy. Find an issue you're passionate about and see what local or national organizations work on it. You could approach them about an internship, and this will give you valuable connections. It may introduce you to representatives, politicians, and their staffs working on those issues.

One additional piece of advice that I could give you is about data. A lot of political strategy is looking at numbers and seeing where key voting cohorts live, making tough calls about where to invest campaign resources, and predicting which way voters will swing. In order to do this, you need to be well-versed in statistics and data. Besides an education in political science, you may want to consider courses that will give you experience with data analysis. These would include basic computer science courses and math courses. There's no need to overwhelm yourself with "tech" stuff, but acquiring at least a basic literacy would be helpful.

Of course, if you go to a technical university, you may not need to enroll in extra tech courses. I studied International Affairs at Georgia Tech, and we learned statistics and computer science in my political courses. Anything I did after that was just to refine my coding skills.

Good luck!

Taylor recommends the following next steps:

Volunteer/intern with a politician's office or political organization that you care about
Consider courses that will prepare you to process data about voters/political issues
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