I was writing the first of many final papers for my fall courses when I received an email. Thinking it was just another fake "leadership conference" spam email, I almost deleted it. But my love of procrastination got the best of me and I opened it to discover that the Career Office wanted to send me to The Washington Center, an academic seminar hosted in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention.
Fast-forward eight months: It is the last day of the convention and I am feeling an odd mix of exhaustion and excitement. I had never had the opportunity to watch so many of my role models speak or given out so many business cards in my life.
I spent my morning, as I spent every morning during the convention, working with two other volunteers to distribute credentials at the Massachusetts Delegation breakfasts. Credentials are distributed by the Democratic National Committee and give convention attendees varying levels of access within the convention center. While distributing credentials does not sound like exciting work, it was one of the highlights of my day because members of the delegation and state party were so welcoming. They went out of their way to give us advice on life in politics and party structure, to introduce us to elected officials, and to invite us to events. Saying goodbye to the party staff and delegates was tougher than I expected but I look forward to (hopefully) working with them someday.
I spent the afternoon working as an access control volunteer at the Wells Fargo Convention Center. It was my job to ensure that only individuals with the correct credentials entered certain areas. I was lucky enough to be placed on the mezzanine, which offered a clear view of the entire arena. Excitement for Hillary’s speech caused people to arrive early, filling my section to capacity a few hours before the primetime speeches began. Luckily, we were able to fit extra people in the aisles so everyone could watch Hillary’s speech.
Watching Hillary’s speech was the perfect end to a perfect two weeks. It was hard to believe that I, a nineteen-year-old who had yet to vote in a general election, was watching the first female presidential nominee of a major party accept the nomination. My interest in politics began as a freshman in high school but working at the convention reassured me that I chose the right field of work.