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Hillary Clinton For President: A Day In The Life

I spent the last four months working as an intern for Hillary For America. When I saw the results, I, along with many others in the country was devastated. Below is a look into my experience.

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Jessica —

We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to participate in the Fall 2016 Hillary for America Internship Program! You have been selected to work with our Communications Team.

I got that email at 9PM on a sweltering hot New York City Monday in August. After three rounds of phone interviews declaring my undying love for Hillary Clinton and my impassioned willingness to work for free to ensure she became the next President of the United States, the offer I was waiting for finally popped up in my inbox. I was in.

When I stepped into the office for the first time, I was taken aback by many things. First of all, I am a huge political television show fanatic — think House of Cards and the Good Wife. So, when I stepped into 1 Pierrepont Plaza and Brian Fallon, Hillary Clinton’s press secretary walked by me without a hitch, it took my breath away.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign was the most diverse campaign in American history. Latinas, Latinos, African Americans, the LGBT community, Muslims, women and men were uniting around the same cause. Everyone in that office felt that we were stronger together, and worked tirelessly to show the rest of the world that. Interpreters were walking around the halls with members of the deaf community, assisting them in their efforts to contribute to the campaign. Millennials like myself filled up the beanbags; huddled up with our computers, ready to take on the tasks of the day. Once or twice, the campaign dog Winnie would appear. There was never a day that I walked into the office and did not feel inspired. In fact, that inspiration was renewed every morning at 9AM when I walked through the door.

The hours were long, but the days went fast. We started every day at 9AM and ended between 7 or 7:30, but there was never a set time to end the day. We left when everything got done. Going off of that, no two days were the same. The headquarters were separated in two floors — they expanded after she won the primary. Each morning, interns were given a series of assignments by their advisor to complete by the end of the day. In communications, this could be anything from pulling news clips on one of Hillary Clinton’s events to transcribing a speech that one of Hillary Clinton’s surrogates had just finished giving.

However I soon learned the day did not stop at the assignments we were given. Back when we were at our orientation, I struck up a conversation with one of the girls waiting to get her picture taken for her ID. She said she had volunteered during the primary and was returning to be apart of the campaign for the final months. I asked her what it was like — to give the inside scoop. She laughed and said it was stressful, but fun. Like nothing you could experience anywhere else.

I heard similar sentiments throughout my time at the campaign. Interns had the opportunity to meet one on one with campaign staffers who all told us multiple times that “everyone should work on one campaign — two, maybe. If you work on three or more, you’re considered crazy like all of us.” Another staffer told me, “It’s hard, but you do get major FOMO if you’re not apart of it.”

Most of the interns were balancing school with this internship; often skipping class to ensure they could help with a big event; letting their stress go temporarily while they popped open a beer after Hillary delivered a good debate performance. Some interns travelled from across the country to do what they could for Hillary. Some were former Sanders supporters who still wanted to ensure change was made and their voices were heard.

Indeed, being apart of the campaign was like nothing you could experience anywhere else, and when you were away from it, there was an immense fear of missing out. Too often, and, something I am sure my teachers would attest to, I was checking my HFA email in class, at club meetings and with friends to make sure I was missing absolutely nothing when I was away. I read my work group chat even though there was nothing I could contribute, and I even read the transcripts that my peers were transcribing — because whenever I was away, I wanted to be back.

The energy of a campaign is electric. You are apart of a movement; fighting for something that you wholeheartedly believe in every single day. You show up to work fighting tirelessly and you leave work knowing that you have affected change for millions of Americans. It’s a feeling like no other. Personally, in my years of school, I have never come across a better feeling than knowing you are helping others and on a political campaign, your reach is maximized to a point that I had never experienced prior. In debates when she performs well and you are clapping with the rest of the staff knowing that you are responsible for that positive outcome, you light up because your team delivered. When Michelle Obama delivers a historic speech on the state of sexism in our country and you are surrounded by a team that is responsible for getting that message out there, you feel like there is hope. And after watching — after absorbing her words and the response, you turn back to your computer and you do everything you can to continue to bring her words to life.

The people Hillary Clinton chose to surround herself with in no way reflect who she has been labeled as throughout this process. They are bright, diverse, talented and motivated individuals who are not much older than myself. The millennial generation has rallied for her for over a year and are #stillwithher because they believe what I believe; that love trumps hate. They believe that we are stronger together.

It was refreshing to see so many people, so close to my age rallied for a united front. Out of all the amazing things I did as intern — meeting celebrities, working on a project that Hillary Clinton actually ended up using in her first debate; watching millennials come together fighting for what is right will always be the highlight. With so much distaste for our generation, it was gratifying to see and be a part of this movement — a movement that I believe with every ounce of my soul will continue on until we do indeed shatter that glass ceiling.

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