The summer before beginning my freshman year at NC State, the opportunity arose to apply to be an intern for the North Carolina Republican Party. Some people warned me that an internship during my freshman year of college might not be a good idea because I first needed to “get into the swing of things.” However, in true Eryn fashion, I decided to go ahead and apply for the position and, if the door opened, I promised myself to walk right through it. That is exactly what happened, and I have not looked back since.
The first week of my internship began just the week after classes started. In order to determine what issues and positions North Carolina voters were most interested in, I spent my first week making phone calls to constituents across the state. Some of my daily duties included: educating constituents on Republican candidates in their areas, surveying constituents in different counties, explaining the amendments on the ballot, campaigning for endorsed candidates, and much more. During the North Carolina State Fair, I helped run the North Carolina Republican party booth, where we campaigned for candidates, helped people register to vote and educated people on the issues that were at stake on the ballot. I also had the opportunity to work on the campaign of Catherine Whiteford, a candidate for North Carolina House District 34. Another favorite opportunity was being the leader of a volunteer group at the Trump rally in Charlotte. This rally was to rebuild political momentum for the Republican party in our state and I got to see the ins and outs of planning a large political event such as this. The rally was such an amazing experience and definitely made an impact on the midterm elections.
Originally, I committed to intern with the North Carolina Republican Party for my first semester of college. However, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to continue for a second semester. Throughout this spring, I will be helping to prepare for the 2020 gubernatorial election and the North Carolina Republican Party convention that I will be attending in Concord, North Carolina.
This internship has opened up more doors for me than I could have ever imagined. I have been able to meet politicians, gain experience in multiple areas, and best of all, I have made some great friends. The experience of this internship has helped me gain confidence as a young Republican woman and taught me that it is okay to be in a minority and stand up for what you believe in. It has made me even more deeply rooted in my values and gave me knowledge that I could never have acquired through a classroom setting alone.
The people who work for the North Carolina Republican party are some of the most down-to-earth, hard-working and dedicated people I have ever met. I am so grateful I have been given the opportunity to work with them, especially Dallas Woodhouse, Katie Kouba, Catherine Whiteford, Jeff Hauser and Darryl Mitchell. The lessons I have learned though this experience will help to shape my future career. I am now working on starting a Johnston County Young Republicans Chapter for my hometown! My plan is to continue interning for the North Carolina Republican Party to jumpstart my career in politics. The North Carolina Republican Party has given me the opportunity of a lifetime. I am so grateful that I started interning my freshman year, because that gives me even more time to grow in knowledge and as a person before graduation.