Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Kirk Watson Campaign Academy

Summer 2016 

Position: Fellow
Student: Sociology Junior
I received my internship credit working as a Fellow for the Kirk Watson Campaign Academy. At the Academy, we met Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM with the goal of learning the ins and outs of political campaigning. On some weekends, we had events to attend. Additionally, we would sometimes stay late to go out and register voters and canvass houses for Democratic candidates around Travis and Williamson Counties. The Academy was six weeks and completely comprehensive; from coordinating a fundraiser to creating our own campaign plan, we truly did it all.

When we arrive in the mornings, we start with a daily debrief. We are assigned one blog post a week which is published on Kirk Watson’s website and we usually go over this assignment in the mornings. Following the debrief, we have a morning lesson on a particular aspect of campaigning. After the morning lesson, we have a guest speaker over lunch. The guest speaker is usually a State Representative, prominent lawyer or lobbyist, judge, State Senator, or other politicos. This is a great chance to network with important politicians and people in the political realm and ask questions in a personal setting.

After lunch, we have a third lesson, followed by a hands-on activity. For example, we were trained on how to make a field plan one afternoon and then went out and canvassed houses based off of that field plan. We sometimes have weekend activities to attend such as the State Democratic Convention, political fundraisers, and parades.

The Academy is perfect for anybody interested in working in the field of politics one day. It is extremely comprehensive and will teach you what it takes to get you elected.

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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508