Q & A with Jamie Barker
What is your advice for someone wanting to launch their career in the political world? Go work a campaign for someone you believe in. Campaigns teach you so much so quickly & are great places to get a start- even if its through volunteer work. Regardless of the end result, win or lose, a campaign for someone you believe in will be a quick education & really test if the political realm is for you.
How do you make connections if you don’t already have them?
Personally, I just looked up contact information for people I followed & liked what they have to say. I reached out to them, offered to help if they needed anything, and relationships grew from that. People view politics as an insider's club, which is true to a large extent, but if you're willing to work hard & work your way up anyone can create a network of people to build a career from.
Do you need a degree in Political Science to hold a job in Politics?
Well I studied biology & chemistry in undergrad so I would say definitely not. I took some political science classes but aside from enjoying them they have not been largely beneficial or needed to do any job I have done. The real learning in politics can be done by reading, observing, and being directly involved as much as possible.
What skills can you gain from working on a campaign?
There are so many things I've learned form campaign work, but I'd say the primary lessons especially starting out would be learning to adapt to a new challenge, task, or obstacle every day. When you aren't able to predict what tomorrow or even the next hour might look like you learn to manage your time, think quickly and efficiently, and how to be a team player. Anything that's worth learning isn't easy and campaigns are extremely tough work, but they are a quick education for anyone willing to learn.