Preparing for the Democratic National Convention

By Alexa King, Career Services Ambassador

Jared Blakney ‘14 is a political science major from Raleigh, North Carolina. He worked as a digital media intern preparing for the Democratic National Convention, and also worked while the convention was going on in Charlotte. Jared talked with Alexa King ‘14, one our Career Services Ambassadors, to discuss his amazing internship experience.

What made you interested in joining the campaign?
Ever since 2008 I have been an Obama supporter, especially after canvassing for him during the primaries.

What were some of the daily tasks you had to do?
There was no typical day. I was in the communications department, but specifically worked with digital media. I developed content for the website and got to see the impact I was having on the convention almost instantly. When I posted an article online, I saw my name underneath it. Probably the coolest thing I got to do was follow Mayor Villaraigosa and Mayor Foxx ‘93 around and get pictures for the blog.

Do you feel you contributed personally to the Obama 2012 campaign?
Just being part of the energetic atmosphere that goes into a campaign, I felt like I was a part of something big. Putting blog articles online and being able to highlight certain delegates or local community members who were getting involved with the convention was really cool. I felt like I was able to put my mark on the convention.

What was one of the most valuable lessons that you learned from this experience?
Digital media is one of the most public medium[s] the convention has. Being thorough and diligent in my work was one of the greatest skills I picked up. If I made a little mistake millions of people could see it on the website.

What did you do Monday-Thursday at the convention?
My specific role was videographer. I filmed and took photographs of different caucus meetings. We were told mid-way through the summer that it was “all hands on deck” during the week of the convention; whatever had to get done to make the convention run smoothly, we had to be willing to do it.

Was this a good opportunity for you to network with other people interested in media?
Definitely. The staff was helpful and friendly; even senior staff said that if I had a question, just stop by. I made good connections, both for getting a job and for mentoring.

Do you plan on pursuing politics in the future, maybe working at the White House next summer if he [President Obama] wins reelection?
Maybe. My ultimate goal is to do something in business. But if politics turns out to be the route to go, then I’ll take it. I think it would be cool to work on another convention as an actual staff member.

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