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Success Stories

Leslie Ancieta

Leslie Ancieta

SPIA: December 2011

Field Organizer at Organize for America

The opportunity to work for Organize for America came while I was participating in the Washington Semester Program as an intern for Congressman John Barrow. While there, I was responsible for giving tours of the Capitol, attending congressional hearings, and interacting with visitors. Networking became a very intricate part of my life in DC. I never knew who I was going to meet in the elevator or lobby of the House or Senate; therefore, I tried to attend as many events as I could, and meet as many people as possible.

While working with the Congressman, I became friends with a staff member who was leaving for a position at Organize for America (OFA). When I finished my internship, he passed my information along to OFA and that is how I started to work with the campaign. Throughout college, I knew that politics was the field that I wanted to enter. Being able to work with people who actually make change happen was my goal, and what better place than to work for the President? My work with the campaign showed me how a government works through the grassroots level. The highlight of my experience was going to the White House for Alumni Week and meeting President Obama, First Lady Obama, and Vice President Biden. I also attended the inaugural speech. Being able to see my hard work pay off as President Obama was sworn under oath was the most rewarding experience.

The best advice that I have for current UGA students who are considering an internship is networking. You know that saying – "It's not what you know, but who you know? – It’s true! Make sure you reach out to professors, family, and friends who have connections. This is what landed me the job with Organize for America and I am so thankful that it did!