A Day in the Life
An EMILY's List internship means functioning as an integral part of an EMILY's List department. You'll dig into the day-to-day operations, help with the formation and progress of long-term goals, and be a part of those all-hands-on-deck breaking news moments. Check out what our interns are doing right now to get a sense of what it means to be an EMILY's List intern. Then apply today!
Summer 2012, WOMEN VOTE! Intern
During the spring of my junior year of college, I began thinking about what type of summer internship I wanted to complete. I love politics and campaigning, and I am especially passionate about increasing women’s representation in government. After spending some serious time scouring the internet and talking to friends and contacts, I realized that interning with WOMEN VOTE! department at EMILY’s List would allow me to contribute to a cause I care deeply about while also affording me with valuable insight into campaigning and increasing women’s involvement with government.
As a research intern, most of my work centered on finding information on candidates and their opponents and following races that EMILY’s List was involved with to track any new updates or trends. The other interns and I became personally invested in each race we researched because we knew so much about the candidates—in fact, on Election Day, we started a group text and celebrated each win as it came in because we were so proud of the candidates that WV! supported. Beyond the knowledge I gained from the day-to-day office work, I also received tremendous support from the WV! staff. The team integrated the interns into their work and meetings, which allowed us to see how our efforts were actually making an impact. Rather than having us merely shadow them, our supervisors would routinely explain why they were taking an action or expand upon a mysterious acronym, encourage us to attend seminars at other organizations, and connect us with opportunities that matched our interests.
When my time at WV! ended, I headed home before school started again and helped a local woman running for Congress. Though she had worked on previous campaigns, she was a first-time candidate and faced some new challenges. Based on the knowledge I had acquired from my internship and the seminars that my supervisors had suggested that I attend, I was able to draft a pathway to winning for my candidate and help set up her campaign’s volunteering and fundraising efforts.
While I genuinely wanted to stay on the race back home, my senior year was beckoning from Massachusetts. Luckily enough, another great female candidate was running for office there, and I soon began organizing my campus for Elizabeth Warren. Senator Warren was one of the candidates I researched while at WV!, and that experience certainly helped when I needed to convince students on campus to vote for her.
I can think of many other instances and anecdotes of when my time at EMILY’s List helped me, but I also appreciate the internship experience as a whole for developing me as an individual invested in progressive politics. I genuinely value my EMILY’s List internship for increasing my awareness of legislative gender inequity and the tough work that goes into correcting it, and hope to continue fighting for the cause after graduation.
Fall 2012, Political intern
As a political science major, I wanted to end my undergraduate career with an internship in Washington D.C. After growing up in Buffalo, NY, I attended SUNY Geneseo but wanted to gain more experience before entering the “real world.” I knew I wanted a position that would allow me to be involved in the 2012 election, and the internship at EMILY’s List seemed like it would be a perfect fit.
As an intern in the political department, every day has been different. Part of my job prior to the election involved tracking the polling in races we were involved in, so I always knew how our candidates were doing and could see the progress our women were making against their opponents.
One of the many great things about EMILY’s List is that we do more than just raise money for our candidates; we also provide campaign services. I was able to do a variety of different tasks and feel like I made an actual contribution to our campaigns. The political department manages the EMILY’s List Job Bank, which I used to connect talented campaign staffers to our campaigns across the country. We also helped with donor research and fundraising calls—important skills to have in the political world!
The most exciting part of this internship by far was actually going out to a campaign before Election Day. I was sent to Illinois for a House race for ten days, where I worked with the staff and helped them prepare their Get Out the Vote operation. We recruited and trained volunteers, and canvassed and phone banked to make sure we got all of our supporters out to the polls. After all of our hard work, election night was absolutely incredible! Not only did our candidate, Cheri Bustos, win, but EMILY’s List had a very successful night as we won many of our competitive races. After following these candidates and working for these campaigns, it was rewarding to feel like I was able to make a difference.
Interning for EMILY’s List has been an incredible experience that taught me valuable skills while I was working for a cause I believe in. I’m lucky to have an internship that both encourages me to stay updated with what is going on in politics and also allows me to feel like I am part of the organization.
Fall 2011 and Fall 2012, Marketing intern
Before my first internship at EMILY’s List, I was never passionate about politics. In fact, when I turned 18, I almost didn’t vote in the Presidential election (don’t worry – I did). In my mind, politicians were on a distant planet, making decisions that barely seemed to scratch the surface of my busy world.
Fast forward to the summer before my junior year, the fateful time when one’s advisors tell students to start to thinking about ‘the future.’ I got an email from my advisor saying that an organization called EMILY’s List was searching for interns. After some quick research, I applied. The next day, I set up an interview with the woman who would become my supervisor, and one of the most positive influences in my life.
Now, two internships and almost a year later, I feel there is no way that I can correctly emphasize the impact EMILY’s List and the amazing people that work here have had on my life. At EMILY’s List, you’re not just another intern or a nameless coffee fetcher. My ideas are always valued, my work is always appreciated. I am reminded daily that the work I do, however menial it seems, has lasting, positive effects on the organization. In the development department, there is no shortage of support, both professionally and personally. There is no greater feeling to wake up knowing that your work matters and you are helping to promote the cause of pro-choice, Democratic women everywhere.
Before I interned at EMILY’s List, I could not name one Congressional campaign from 2010. Now, I can name almost every campaign from 2012. I get emotional when talking about my Senator-elect, Elizabeth Warren, or about Secretary Clinton’s potential 2016 Presidential run. Without the guidance I received from my mentors at EMILY’s List, there is no way I would be this passionate about politics. Working here has been fun, challenging, and most importantly, life altering. I would not trade my experiences here for the world.
Summer 2012, WOMEN VOTE! intern
My first day at EMILY’s List felt just like the first day in grade school. I tossed and turned the night before, overwhelmed by excitement and anxiety. I applied to intern at EMILY’s List on the advice of a friend; she had interned in the Communications department and loved it. I decided to apply to WOMEN VOTE!, the independent expenditure committee attached to EMILY’s List, because it combined research and strategy -- two areas of politics I find fascinating. I was thrilled when they offered me the internship, but the butterflies still set in the night before I started. I had no clue what to expect on my first day. Would I be writing memos? Following candidates on Twitter? Stapling stacks of paper?
It turned out I would be jumping in head first on that first day. My supervisors were in the middle of putting together a polling memo for Hawai’i’s 2nd congressional district, a holy grail of personal and professional details about our candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, and her opponents. After giving me a few hours to settle in, my supervisor explained that they were in a time crunch and asked me to help with the memo by going through the candidates’ websites and bulleting relevant information. (For the layman, a research bullet is basically a chunk of relevant text from a news source or video transcript that you add a title to so people scanning through the memo can still understand what’s going on.)
I walked into the internship with the preconceived notion that political research primarily consisted of summarizing issue positions. I was completely wrong. As my supervisor kindly and patiently explained to me, this memo wasn’t about listing issue positions. It was about telling a story about each candidate – not just where they stood on an issue, but how they explained that position. It was about outlining how they presented themselves to voters and highlighting what personal qualities they discussed so we would know what to emphasize or how to compare candidates if we released ads in Hawai’i’s 2nd congressional district. There was a steep learning curve and I definitely made mistakes (everything from overly wordy headlines to missing links to key articles on campaign websites), but my supervisor guided me and helped me improve every step of the way.
Once the madness was over and the polling memo was completed I wasn’t sure how helpful my research would be or whether we would even be running programs in the district. Ultimately the decision was made to release an ad (which is great if you haven’t seen it yet), and some of my research about our candidate’s emphasis on service and sacrifice actually helped shape the narrative of the ad.
Much of the work I’ve done since those fast-moving first weeks has been in a similar vein: researching candidates and trying to tell a story about who they are and what they believe. I’ve learned so much along the way about research but also about strategy and what ads work in different situations. I’ve had a blast here, in large part because the WOMEN VOTE! team is hilarious and dead-set on making sure interns have a great experience, and I’ve also become so much better prepared for any job I could hope to have in politics. Turns out those first day butterflies were pointless -- I had nothing to worry about.
Summer 2012, Communications Intern
I found out about EMILY’s List while doing what I do best -- researching people on the internet. But in all seriousness, I learned about this Political Action Committee (PAC) while reading about Governor Bev Perdue, who was elected in 2008 with the support of EMILY’s List as North Carolina’s first woman governor.
Thanks to Governor Perdue, my reproductive rights have been protected as compared to women in other states. She’s consistently vetoed the anti-choice, anti-woman legislation emanating out of the Republican-controlled North Carolina General Assembly. Some highlights include their “Woman’s Right to Know” Act (blocked by a federal judge) and just this month, their state budget which disqualifies private family planning providers from being eligible for state funding. Governor Perdue vetoed the state budget which included this provision, but her veto was overridden.
State funding already isn’t allowed to go to abortion services, so this bill disproportionately affects lower-income women by targeting money that organizations like Planned Parenthood receive to provide contraception, breast cancer screenings and STI testing and treatment.
Governor Perdue has announced that she will not seek reelection in November. As the spotlight shines on North Carolina leading up to the Democratic National Convention Charlotte will host in early September, I hope voters in my state will realize how urgently we need to elect more women who will protect reproductive freedom and advance the causes of women and families.
Once I learned about the impact EMILY’s List has had on races across the country, I knew I wanted to intern for the organization. Not just because EMILY’s List has supported Governor Perdue and Senator Kay Hagan in North Carolina, but also because of the work they do turning out women voters in critical districts, training state-level candidates and holding Republicans accountable.
This summer, I have been interning in the communications department. Interns are responsible for compiling news clips about our candidates, updating press lists, helping to write talking points and press materials, and keeping staff updated on news as it happens. There isn’t really a typical work day here, which I appreciate. I’ve learned so much about messaging, strategy and media relations from being able to sit in on meetings and from our intern brown bags with directors of various EMILY’s List departments.
I’ve found my internship incredibly rewarding and am so grateful that an organization like this exists!
Spring 2012 Marketing Intern
Spring 2012 Political Targeting Intern
Annie Kouba and Katie Simon
Spring 2012 POP Interns
Spring 2012 New Media Intern