My name is Cameron Fegers, and I am a senior at Columbia University in the City of New York. I applied for a summer internship opportunity with Maine Citizens for Clean Elections (MCCE) not knowing exactly what to expect, as this was to be my first non-congressional internship. It wasn’t too long, however, until I absolutely fell in love with the initiative of getting money out of politics as well as the people on this amazing team who were working to make it happen. And believe me, as someone whose name spells “R-O-M-A-N-C-E” when rearranged, I know what it’s like to unabashedly fall in love with something.
I began my internship at an interesting time at MCCE. The staff for the November campaign to pass the Clean Elections Initiative referendum had just begun working. As an intern, I was expected to quickly learn about the relationship that existed between the non-profit organization, MCCE, and the campaign, something which led to the availability of many interesting projects.
Due to the intimate office atmosphere, there was never a shortage of important projects that required my help. One of my favorite aspects of the way MCCE structured its internship was the rotational schedule. For two weeks, interns would remain with one department of the non-profit, or its campaign-arm which was housed in the same office, and then would switch to a different department after this time. This schedule allowed for an intensive experience in every significant area of the campaign’s operations. We became well-versed in different online software programs and databases, as well as which relationships and materials were vital to the life-force of a campaign. We were even held as equally responsible for the collective successes of the campaign as any other individual on the team.
Truly unique about interning at MCCE is the extent to which your own determination will define the experience you have and what you will take away when you leave. My strongest professional skill is writing, and I was encouraged to use this ability to clearly and concisely communicate my thoughts to Maine voters throughout the internship. I drafted editorials and had a piece published in the Huffington Post. I honed my message through conversations at farmers’ markets and on the phone, trying to talk potential donors into becoming actual donors. This opened all sorts of windows for me during my internship. I worked closely with the Communications Director to draft letters to the editors of local Maine newspapers and was eventually asked by MCCE’s Executive Director to join the Communications team for the non-profit. I soon began working on crafting the monthly newsletter that was sent to supporters of MCCE and sat in on senior-staff meetings in order to contribute my thoughts regarding our messaging.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity afforded by MCCE and encourage anyone interested in political, social and economic equality to apply for an internship with this organization; in more ways than one, you will love what you are doing.