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My Obama Organizing Fellowship

Heather J

I applied to be an Obama Organizing Fellow for two reasons. First, I thought it would be a great learning experience. I was also applying for grad school in January and I thought the Fellowship would help me decide if grad school was really what I wanted to do. Second, I had a bad case of cabin fever (who knew Minnesota got cold in the winter?) and the fellowship seemed like a great way to get out and be involved around Mankato.

I started in February and hit the ground running by creating lists and making calls to people I thought might be interested in volunteering with the campaign. As I was working to build a team of volunteers, I had a lot of help from a great group of staff members, but I also had a lot of freedom to build a team organically. The calls I made led to one-on-one meetings and eventually the meetings created the structure for a team. My dedication and the volume of calls I was making each week made a big difference. It was incredibly fun watching a team grow starting from just a few phone calls.

Recently, I was offered the opportunity to work full-time for the campaign as a field organizer. I didn't take the opportunity as a fellow because I was hoping I'd eventually be offered that full-time position, I did it because it was what I wanted to be doing - to connect with my community and to do my part for President Obama. The job offer was more than I had expected, or even had hoped for. Luckily, transitioning from fellow to field organizer hasn't been difficult. My responsibilities have expanded and a bit more is expected of me, but I am still having fun and helping to build a great grassroots team around the Mankato area. I would recommend applying to be a summer fellow to anyone who is interested in learning about our political processes and grassroots organizing. It is a great way to learn.

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