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Current Student Taylor McCarty says GSPM is "the ultimate networking opportunity"


It’s not what you know it’s who you know. Your network is your net worth. These sayings are clichés for a reason, but like many clichés, they contain a grain of truth. How do you stand out in a crowded job market? How do you learn about job openings before anyone else?

The most effective way is to leverage your personal and professional networks. Your current and former coworkers, your friends, and the alumni of the schools you attended are the key to your job search. This is even more important when looking for career opportunities in competitive fields such as politics and advocacy.

We asked several of our alumni how they got into the world of politics, and why they look to GSPM for future hires. A key for Bret Caldwell, GSPM ’95 and Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, was a shared understanding. “What I’m looking for are people who can enter an organization and adapt quickly; have the skills to bring about organizational change if necessary; and the ability to become leaders within the organization,” said Caldwell.

While filling a recent vacancy, Caldwell interviewed another alum, Ash Latimer, GSPM ’15. “It was clear she was going to be a great add to the team and since we’ve both been through the program it’s very apparent we’re on the same wavelength on our approach to tackling complex issues,” he noted.

Latimer first found out about the opportunity from a mutual friend. “I got a text saying are you interested in working for the Teamster’s,” she said. “Within an hour he had connected me with Bret. We set up a meeting two days later, I met with assistant directors the next week, and I got the offer later that week.”

For Bill Meierling, GSPM ’08 and Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President, Public Affairs at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the school’s unique curriculum is an asset for any politico on a job hunt. “If you actually want to win the campaign, you go to GSPM,” he says. “Thinking about the types of classes offered you can really get a specialized education in various disciplines in politics. It’s the single best place to gain knowledge from practitioners.”

Meierling added that the longevity of the school is a key asset for anyone looking to work in Washington. “There are 5,000 alumni in the school, and about 2,000 in the DC area. There aren’t 2,000 corporate offices in DC so think about how many organizations where there is a GSPMer. Virtually every one.”

Taylor McCarty, a current student and Communications Strategist at DDC, echoed that sentiment. “I stay in touch with the students and several professors and it’s benefited me personally and professionally,” she said. “It’s a great way to find a mentor and make new friends. You never know who may lend a helping hand down the road.”

The Graduate School of Political Management is proud to announce its newest fellows and Alumni Achievement Award winners.

Our fellows are leaders in politics and advocacy chosen by the school to serve 18 month terms contributing as adjunct professors, guest lecturers, panel speakers, and case study contributors. They serve an invaluable role in helping us give our students the best education in applied politics, communications, and advocacy. Previous fellows include U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., former U.S. Senator Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Amy Walter, National Editor at the Cook Political Report.

Our current fellows:

Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.: Cantor’s career in politics has stretched over two decades, serving in the United States House of Representatives and the Virginia House of Delegates. Cantor was a member of the House Republican leadership team for 11 years, starting as Chief Deputy Whip and ending as House Majority Leader after the historic 2010 midterm election cycle. Cantor currently serves as Vice Chair and Managing Director at Moelis & Company, a leading global independent investment bank.

Sarah Chamberlain: Chamberlain serves as the President and CEO of the Republican Main Street Partnership, which she helped to establish and grow into a thriving organization with more than seventy members of Congress as part of its network. A leading advocate for women in politics, Chamberlain established the Women2Women Conversations Tour in 2014 to spark dialogue between legislators and everyday citizens. Chamberlain is the only woman in the country who serves as the CEO of a major Republican organization. Prior to joining the partnership she served as the first Executive Director of the John Quincy Adams Society.

Former Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA): Landrieu continued her family’s tradition of public service as a three-term United States Senator following terms as Louisiana State Treasurer and State Representative. Landrieu made history with her 1996 Senate election, becoming the first woman from Louisiana to serve a full term in the chamber. A strong advocate for her state, Sen. Landrieu played a key role in helping Louisiana recover from Hurricane Katrina and shepherded passage of the RESTORE Act, which was designed to help the Gulf Coast region recover from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Landrieu now serves as a Senior Policy Advisor at Van Ness Feldman.

Our Alumni Achievement Award winners represent the best of GSPM. They exemplify our values through their career accomplishments, contributions to their communities, GSPM, or GW.

Our 2017 Alumni Achievement Award winners:

Lindsey Schuh Cortés: Cortés is the CEO of BlueLabs, a data and analytics strategy consulting firm in Washington, DC. Prior to joining BlueLabs, she served as Director of Strategic Partnerships and Deputy Political Director at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Barrett Karr: Karr serves as Chief of Staff for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. In addition to other legislative roles, Karr has extensive executive branch experience as well working as the Deputy Assistant for Legislative Affairs for President George W. Bush.

Liz Reicherts: Reicherts is the head of U.S. Government Affairs at Siemens, leading its strategy on U.S. policy and international affairs and managing the U.S. Government Affairs team. Prior to Siemens, Reicherts enjoyed a 22-year career at BP, with a decade spent advocating for its international businesses.

We thank both our fellows and our award winners for their contributions to the school and we look forward to their continued involvement and counsel.








The ECHO is the newest component of our PEORIA Project social media monitoring and analysis research. With The ECHO, we're tracking the weekly ebb and flow of trending topics and individuals in politics.

This week our lead PEORIA Project researcher Prof. Michael Cohen found that Twitter was focused on the United States Capitol writing

The center of political discussion on Twitter moved to Capitol Hill this week as members passed a deal struck by the president and Democratic congressional leaders to extend the debt limit for three months and fund hurricane relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey (492,148 tweets) and ahead of Hurricane Irma (4,641,783 tweets). In the wake of the hurricanes, tweets about climate change were up 75 percent (721,677 tweets).

The shift in activity down Pennsylvania Avenue is reflected in the volume of tweets: President Donald Trump was down 47 percent while the tweets about the U.S. Senate (163 percent) and the House (229 percent) were both up by triple-digit percentages.

Check out the other insights at U.S News & World Report.

While President Donald Trump's inner circle of family members in key positions has many White House watchers nervous, GSPM Prof Matt Dallek notes that nepotism is nothing new at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. He joined WBUR's Freak Out And Carry On hosts Ron Suskind and Heather Cox Richardson to discuss several key instances of presidential familial advisors.

Listen to the entire interview here.


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