Emily Jaroma Minick, a senior legislative assistant at the Family Research Council, spoke to Christendom students this past Monday, February 16, as part of the college’s politics practica speaker series. A 2010 alumna of the college, Minick gave some insights into breaking into the world of politics and the need for educated, passionate figures in politics today.
Minick, who earned her masters in government from Johns Hopkins University, began her talk by relating her own past experiences in politics, encouraging the audience to learn from her mistakes and successes.
Since the 1994 election, Minick knew that she wanted to be involved in politics, even though she had little understanding of it. She set her sights on Capitol Hill, the “epitome of politics” in her eyes, and began working in various internships before she found a job on the Joint Economic Committee for Senator Jim DeMint.
“I encourage you — do internships. When you find a job you’re passionate about, continue to network, even when you have a job,” she advised. “Those contacts are invaluable, and will help you in continuing to follow your passion in the long run.”
In order to find the right job in politics, she encouraged the students to find the issue that “gets them out of bed in the morning,” and to be able to explain their beliefs.
“Employers are looking for people who are passionate about their work; politics is not just work, it’s a culture. They will also ask you why you are conservative, or why you believe the government shouldn’t be involved in healthcare, for example. They want to see that your beliefs align with theirs, and that you’re able to think on your feet,” Minick said.
Minick concluded by encouraging students to embrace their Christendom education and to get the most out of their time here, and to use their invaluable education to their advantage in the political realm.
“Being able to explain your beliefs immediately makes your opinion more respected, even to people who disagree with you. We need to educate people, and let them know that they can be independent. We don’t need the government to secure our future,” she concluded.
Christendom College’s politics practica program, directed by professor of political science and economics Dr. Bernard Way, has been a unique feature of the political science department for many years, giving students the opportunities to not only network with known political figures, but also earn credit for rigorous political internships.