For those of you who have never campaigned, it is exciting, exhausting, entertaining, and intimidating all at the same time. Whether you are chased off of a property by a large canine or meet the nicest person you have ever met in your life, campaigning sparks many emotions. It is, however, essential to having a successful race (aka winning) and it is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to become a better civil servant/employee. After spending the last week in the second district of North Carolina, I can confidently say that I can better relate to and understand our constituents, I know the district and the congressional staff more intimately, and I improved the campaign/communications skills which are necessary to do my job well. In other words, campaigning not only helps your representative win, but it enables you to do your job better. And ultimately, you know that you did your job as best you can and life will go on regardless of whether your boss wins or loses.
This was my experience over the last week anyway. Some may disagree, but at the end of the day, I feel that I did my job well. I was disappointed that Mitt Romney lost the presidential election, but North Carolina was a different story. My Congresswoman won, we now have a Republican Governor, we went from 6 Republican seats to 9, and Romney won our state. My staff can confidently say that they did their job. I may have been hung- up on dozens of times, and I may have met some unsavory people, but those experiences were well worth what I gained and what my state gained. I would absolutely recommend that everyone campaign if they get the chance, because it is a once in a lifetime experience. It is full of some pleasant and not so pleasant surprises, but at the end of the day you are glad you got to be part of the circus.
– Kristen McAvoy, Star Fellow Fall 2012