Do you want to work as a politician one day? If so, you have a lot of work to put in. It’s usually not as easy as applying for a role and getting selected. To give yourself the best chance possible, you need to put the work in while you are still a student.
Whether you want a job as a lobbyist, legislative assistant, or campaign manager, use these 14 study tips to help make your dream of becoming a politician come true.
1: Study the Correct Course
Here is some good news – you don’t need to do a specific degree to become a politician. Politicians have a wide range of degrees, from business administration to economics. If you are currently studying for a degree, don’t feel like you have to change your major to make it as a politician.
You might want to choose a more specific course after your bachelor’s, though. If you plan on furthering your studies, applying to a Master of Public Policy and Leadership online could give you the knowledge and experience you need to thrive as a government leader. That is especially true if you want to work in the public health sector.
2: Stick to a Schedule
When you eventually become a politician, you will have serious deadlines and a specific schedule that you must follow. It’s better to get used to that sooner rather than later! On top of your classes, create a study schedule and stick diligently to it. Not only will this help cement better habits, but you will improve your grades as a whole.
If you struggle to stick to a study schedule, try to be a little easier on yourself. Studying seven hours every day after seminars isn’t doable in the long term for most people!
3: Make Plenty of Connections
It is true what they say – it isn’t just what you know, it is who you know. That is especially true when it comes to working in politics. While it is important to learn and grow while at college, you should also set aside some time for making connections. They will prove just as valuable to you in the future as your grades!
Join social clubs, talk to your professors, and make good friends with your peers to secure more connections in the professional environment. Starting a study group is also a good idea! That way, you can build relationships with your peers while improving your grades.
4: Strike a Balance Between Work and Play
You might imagine that politicians rarely get time to themselves – that every waking hour is dedicated to the role. While it’s true that many political roles are demanding, that doesn’t mean you can work non-stop without consequences. Don’t push yourself to the point of burning out because you think that’s what will be expected of you in the future. Doing so will only lead to a drop in your school performance.
Instead, strike a balance between work and play. Yes, you should put lots of effort and hours into your studies, but you should also find time to relax and hang out with friends. Working all the time is not sustainable!
5: Volunteer for the Community
Being a politician is all about improving communities and people’s lives as a whole. There are many ways to go about that, but those goals stay true. To prove that you are someone who genuinely cares about communities and to gain a good amount of experience helping them, volunteer for your local community while you study.
There are plenty of ways to do this. You could assist the elderly, read to young children, or clean up the streets. Not only will this experience prove your worth, but it will also help expand your view of the communities around you, making you a better politician in the future.
6: Study Together
Locking yourself in your dorm and studying for eight hours straight isn’t always the best method for retaining information. You might need to study alone sometimes, but studying together can be just as – if not more – helpful.
Studying as a group isn’t just helpful for cementing information in your brain, though. It can also be a great way to improve your communication and even debate skills, which are extremely useful for politicians.
7: Learn How to Write An Amazing Resume
Most college students are offered advice on writing the best resume they can. Colleges want their students to do well and flourish in their desired careers after they graduate, after all. Look around your college for resume advice and learn as much as you can from them. More often than not, the difference between getting your dream job and not is the quality of your resume.
8: Work on Your Presentation Skills
When you become a politician, you will need to speak clearly and with confidence to a room full of people. Depending on your chosen political career, that might include a very large room! Now is the time to develop those presentation skills while you can.
Some ways to develop your presentation skills include:
- Practicing at home
- Joining a debate team
- Volunteering for presentations
- Taking on the leadership role in a group
The more presentation experience you get now, the better you will be once you graduate.
9: Get to Know Your Professors
Getting to know your professors is just as important as getting to know your fellow students. They have all the knowledge, after all, and they can advise you on your future career. Plus, their future recommendation may just secure you a place on a great master’s degree course or an internship.
Stay behind after lectures to discuss the material and schedule regular meetings to ensure you make the most of your professors. They should be more than happy to help!
10: Know Your Direction
While it’s OK to only know that you want to work in government, it does help to have some kind of direction. A direction can help you make the right choices while studying, such as which courses to take, what clubs to join, and the type of connections that will most benefit you. Plus, when it comes to work experience, you will be able to choose a placement that fits your goals.
Take a look at the various political careers to figure out where you might want to go. Some of the most popular include:
- Campaign Manager
- Public Affairs Consultant
- Media Strategist
Even if your main goal is to be a successful politician for the state, you need a role to kickstart that career.
11: Keep Up with Your Community
Politicians keep up with their communities. They know all about the issues and the voices of the people – that is how they make the right decisions. It’s a good idea to start early by keeping up to date with the goings-on in your community. That could mean your local town, or it could even mean your university while you attend.
During your time as a student, get to know the people around you and discover what changes might benefit the majority. The sooner you show interest and take initiative, the sooner you prove that you are serious about a career that works toward change.
12: Manage Your Workload
It’s all too easy to take on too much work and then let your performance suffer. No matter what your degree is, it’s crucial to manage your workload so that you can give each project your all. It benefits you in two ways. First, you have a better chance of achieving a higher grade; second, you learn how to manage a large workload – that will be important once you land a political role. If you grow accustomed to managing a large workload, you are more likely to perform well in the future.
13: Stay Up to Date with the Latest Politics
Even if you are not doing a degree program in politics, you should still keep up to date with what is going on. That’s where you want to end up, after all, and it will be hard to impress if you have little background knowledge on the subject.
If there is a political club at your university, join it. Otherwise, keep up to date by reading journals, newspapers, and online articles. The more you know, the better. Plus, it might help you decide where you want to end up.
14: Focus on Your End Goal
College is hard. Most people who work in politics go through the process, though, and come out with an admirable education that will set them up for their future. To help you get through some of the harder parts, such as looming deadlines and exam season, focus on your end goal – to become a politician. It will push you through, helping you to achieve the grades that you need.
Landing a political career isn’t a walk in the park, but if you use these 14 tips during your study days, then you improve your chances of success.