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BMCGirl10

Entry Level Political Careers

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Undergraduate senior political science major here - planning to take at least a year off, gain some experience, then apply to grad school. I've started the job search process for when I graduate in May. The problem I've been encountering when applying to congressional staff offices and political consulting firms is that they say it's too early. I should apply in February when I'm ready to graduate. Isn't that too late in the game? Won't all the positions be filled by then? I've heard many horror stories of past seniors who waited until the last two or three months before graduating and they were frantically searching and moaning about the lack of job offers. Is the early bird catches the worm not the policy with political careers, particularly in D.C.?

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Undergraduate senior political science major here - planning to take at least a year off, gain some experience, then apply to grad school. I've started the job search process for when I graduate in May. The problem I've been encountering when applying to congressional staff offices and political consulting firms is that they say it's too early. I should apply in February when I'm ready to graduate. Isn't that too late in the game? Won't all the positions be filled by then? I've heard many horror stories of past seniors who waited until the last two or three months before graduating and they were frantically searching and moaning about the lack of job offers. Is the early bird catches the worm not the policy with political careers, particularly in D.C.?

Well, this is an old question, and I see that you've already made your plans, but for others in the same position - you will most likely not get a job until after you graduate. If you go to school in DC or nearby, you may be able to start applying in the spring, but no one will want to hire you more than a month before you can start. And you *really* have to be in DC to get considered for these jobs - it's all about pounding the pavement. You should also expect to look for at least 6 months before finding a job, especially on the Hill. It may be less, but it's good to be prepared.

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Well, this is an old question, and I see that you've already made your plans, but for others in the same position - you will most likely not get a job until after you graduate. If you go to school in DC or nearby, you may be able to start applying in the spring, but no one will want to hire you more than a month before you can start. And you *really* have to be in DC to get considered for these jobs - it's all about pounding the pavement. You should also expect to look for at least 6 months before finding a job, especially on the Hill. It may be less, but it's good to be prepared.

Thanks for the advice Politicalgeek! You're right about no one wanting to hire more than a month before starting or even non-DC residents. I've been trying to secure a job/internship from afar for months now. I finally decided to secure housing for the summer ( I did - for 350 a month if you can believe it) and I'm working on getting a canvassing job on a political campaign. Maybe with that experience it'll be easier for me to ease into staffing jobs or Congressional internships in the Fall.

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One of the best ways to get your foot in the door in DC is through a fellowship such as the AAAS Congressional Science Fellowships and the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowships (I'm a Scoville alumnus). Deadlines for both summer and yearlong programs are approaching in January and February. If you want to search for these fellowships, check out ProFellow's database, and search under "Public Service": http://www.profellow.com/beta-sign-up/

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