Cassie Gross is a senior International Studies major who interned this past summer at The Blue Lab, a Boston-based political incubator that assists and cultivates candidates for elected office. Learn more about Cassie’s experience in political consulting, her work at the intersection of policy and campaigning, and how she navigated interning during the COVID-19 pandemic below.
How did you find your internship at The Blue Lab?
I found my internship through using Google and searching for internships in Boston, specifically politically-oriented ones. I came across the posting serendipitously and sent an email with my application soon after.
What was a typical week like for you at your internship?
Since it was in summer 2020, it was conducted over Zoom, which made for a very different experience. The Blue Lab is the brainchild of Liberty Square Group, a political consulting firm in Boston. The Blue Lab is staffed mostly with interns, which means that we were involved in work not typically done by interns in a campaign environment. I worked with two different candidates doing financial data analysis, social media strategy, research on potential endorsements, drafting and editing statements, and putting in a few hours of phonebanking each week.
What did you learn about working in political consulting that you think would be helpful for other interested students to know?
I appreciated the experience in the political consulting industry because I had close access to campaigns, but instead of being tied to one specifically, I was involved in many. It is an interesting industry because people come from so many different backgrounds to fill countless roles and many of the people are very young. It is a fast-paced and demanding environment, but the people that I encountered really loved what they did, which made the work seem much more manageable.
What advice do you have for other students who are pursuing remote experiences because of COVID-19?
It was difficult to get to know other interns or form the typical relationships that you would normally gain from an internship experience. It helped to connect with my co-interns on social media. I also stayed alert and interested in team meetings where sometimes the discussions went a little off track into popular culture or the news of the day.
What was the highlight of your internship experience?
At the end of the summer, my team essentially took over the role of campaign manager for one of the candidates that we had been working with. It involved more work and more coordination, but it felt like we were really making an impact and getting to make real decisions. While she did not end up winning her primary, she put up an impressive run for a progressive challenger to an incumbent in a race that no one paid much attention to. We hopefully laid the foundation for a successful run in 2024.
I loved working at The Blue Lab, and I think it is a great opportunity for BC students looking to get into politics or policy work. It is different from a traditional campaign experience because you complete higher level work and have exposure to a few different campaigns, instead of putting all of your focus on one.
–Cassie Gross ’21, MCAS