The olde English proverb goes something like, “All good things must come to an end.” Such is the state of my rapidly expiring tenure at CGS as a government relations research associate. It’s been a heck of a couple months, and I’ll take the experiences I had here with me forever in my professional career. Here are some of my honest reflections.
When I first showed up, I really hadn’t a clue about the inner workings of a non-profit and the space they operate in -- the abyss between the governmental and civil society spheres. To drive home the point of my alienation, it took a few weeks to get used to the layout of the office (it’s a pretty big house). But I like to think I showed up having zero expectations and an open mind, which I always try to keep with me. In this regard I always wanted to be a soft-spoken and humble sponge that showed up at the right times and took in all the right information, learning as much as possible. Just like any new work place, there was a learning curve.
Something I always try to do is observe the standard operating procedures of a workplace, both formal and informal. It took some explaining (my attention span often gets the better of me at times), but now I can confidently say that I understand the ways in which CGS operates, and, most importantly, how it communicates its messages to the masses.
I’ve had previous work with government at the state level in the great commonwealth of Pennsylvania, so working through government institutions was not something foreign to me. Approaching government from the non-profit angle, however, was refreshing. It was fantastic to work with a political action committee that had a relatable and sincere platform: to support candidates who champion a responsible role for the US in the international realm to solve global problems effectively.