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Centre County Democratic Committee
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Madison Lapetina

Liberal Arts Major(s): Political Science
Minor: French, Business with the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Collegeville, Pennsylvania
Experience Time: Summer 2020

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

Starting in May 2020 up until the election in November, I interned virtually with the Centre County Democratic Committee to spread democratic ideologies, get out the vote, and promote endorsed candidates. At first, I did voter/donor research, wrote call scripts, phone banked, created newsletters, designed mailers, and created content for their social medias. About halfway through my internship, I was given the opportunity to lead a Social and Digital Media Task Team that ran the CCDC's social media accounts and develop strategies to spread our message (in addition to my previous responsibilities). I managed a team of over 30 volunteers that researched issues, created digital content, and followed a post schedule.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience was a great opportunity to take what I've learned so far in my classes and apply it to a real life election. I used what I learned about game theory and campaigning in my classes to develop strategies to promote our endorsed candidates. I also used communication skills that I learned in my ethics classes to create calls to action. This experience showed me how the concepts I learned in classes can be applied in real life scenarios.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

I've always wanted a career in politics, though I was never quite sure what facet of politics that would be in. This experience impacted my career goals immensely, it showed me that I might want to pursue a career in campaigning.

This experience was a great opportunity to take what I've learned so far in my classes and apply it to a real life election.

I really enjoyed the fast pace nature of the job, and I loved getting to work with volunteers/voters and candidates alike. This internship also gave me the opportunity to advocate for what I believe in and influence others, which is extremely important to me. After I graduate, I would love to continue working in campaigning and social/digital media management and content creation.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

Around the same time I was applying for this internship, I was matched with my mentor through the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program. He really encouraged me to go for it and he gave me tips for my application and edited my resume for me.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows program gave me the knowledge and coursework to really excel in this internship. If it weren't for my honors and ethics coursework, I don't think my work with their social media would have been as effective.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website. 
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