Josh Pitcock: Advice for Students
Josh Pitcock is a GU Politics Fall 2018 Fellow, Vice President of Government Affairs for Oracle, and the Former Chief of Staff to Vice President Mike Pence
What advice would you give to students who are interested in going into politics and public service?
JOSH PITCOCK: Students who are interested in working in politics and public service should keep an open mind and be persistent and humble.
It’s fine to have your heart set on a job on Capitol Hill or whatever your dream job may be, but your first job might look differently. Spending a year or two working in the private sector, on a campaign, or in a government agency can give you a set of skills and experience that puts you in a stronger position to compete for that dream job. Or maybe you’ll find that your dream job shifts as other opportunities open up. That’s okay. Keep an open mind! You’ll be surprised at what comes your way.
Likewise, students should be persistent. Persistence can take many forms: interning, building a network and keeping up with it, staying on top of job openings, or even waiting tables until the right job comes along. Landing a job in politics or public service can take time and the process can be hard to understand. I mean, you’re willing to work very long hours for very little money so it can be tough to understand why certain opportunities don’t pan out. But be patient and persistent through the process and you will be rewarded.
Finally, be humble. You’ve got an amazing resume, sterling credentials, and strong skills, but you might be asked to get coffee or fill the copier with paper. When you do an internship or start your first job, it’s likely going to be entry-level and the people you work for may ask you to do things that might seem beneath you. They aren’t. Show a willingness to do whatever needs to get done, humbly do what’s asked of you, and you’ll move up the food chain much faster than you could imagine.