Thanks to your generous donations, the AAPC Foundation provides scholarships to students who have shown a career interest in political consulting and public affairs an opportunity to attend the annual AAPC Pollie Awards & Conference.
This year, the AAPC Foundation selected Christine Cockley, a student from Ohio University pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. We caught up with Christine to talk about her experience at the 2021 Pollie Conference.
AAPC: What was your biggest takeaway from the 2021 Pollie Conference?
Christine: I realized that I really miss working in the public sector professionally. Attending the educational sessions and networking with professionals in this space solidified my interest in the consulting field. When I first applied for the scholarship, I didn’t know that I was going to encounter so many intelligent people that work together across party lines.
AAPC: What new skills did you gain through this experience?
Christine: I was reminded that it is possible to get back into Conferences and networking even through a pandemic. It can be uncomfortable to put yourself out there during these times but rebuilding my networking skills is so essential to my career path.
AAPC: What was your favorite session and why?
Christine: My favorite session was Building Your Public Affairs Business because it was very applicable to my own interests. Trey Richardson was a phenomenal speaker and it was great to hear the success stories of all the speakers.
AAPC: What advice would you give to other young professionals looking to attend the Pollie Conference for the first time?
Christine: While networking is so important, you need to remember to sit back and soak in your surroundings. Instead of walking up to everyone you see, be aware of your surroundings and network mindfully. Take a mental note of the people you meet and connect with them on LinkedIn. When you send a request, go out of your way to mention a specific piece of your conversation so they remember who you are and where you met. Also, don’t forget to bring your business cards!
AAPC: If you were to describe this experience in one word, what would it be?