By Jennifer Whitlow, Intern
The past two summers I have been an intern at Association Services Group, and in those past two summers I have learned more than I ever could have imagined. I am currently a junior at Georgia College & State University majoring in Political Science and minoring in Business Administration. My plan is to pursue a career in lobbying when I graduate, and eventually work my way into an executive position.
When I got back to school, people’s favorite question was what I did over the summer. My response was typically the same and I try to (in a few brief sentences) explain what association management is and what all my job entailed. You would be surprised at the number of professors who give me funny looks like I am speaking a different language. After I finish explaining it most people say, “wow I had no idea that was a thing” or “that’s really neat and unique.”
So how does my internship tie into my political science major? As of right now, I am looking into lobbying as a career. This requires getting to know people, thoroughly studying a cause, and truly caring about the cause for which you are lobbying.
At ASG, a great deal of time is spent on member services, as it is the highest priority for management services. Most areas of political science deal with knowing your audience. If I want to someday lobby for an association or a non-profit, knowing the inner workings and goals of the organization is crucial. This includes learning and understanding the core values involved with conference planning, board meetings, membership databases, website updates and so much more.
Working with academic, trade and professional associations has allowed me to see the inside of groups like I could have never seen any other way. Down to its core, association management is about the people – just as is lobbying or political science.
Jennifer is currently a junior at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville with plans to one day become a lobbyist for a non-profit organization or medical association. She is very involved on campus with the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, serving on their leadership team for the past two years and being a women’s Bible study leader.