Gabby Chiarenza (‘23) wasn’t sure exactly how her passion for politics and love of writing would develop into a career, but as she applied for a summer internship in the Press Office with the Governor of North Carolina, she was intrigued.
A political science and English double major, Gabby has always wanted to be a speechwriter. She started her internship hoping to further develop her rhetoric and creative writing skills and was thrilled to be able to write in a way she found fulfilling and creatively stimulating.
“All of my writing felt meaningful,” Gabby said, “because I knew that my words were helping to educate and inform the public about important issues.”
Her internship has been a tremendous learning experience. “So many people were willing to help me advance my writing skills and learn the governor’s voice, Gabby explained, “I was blown away by the immense support from everyone in the office and the trust they had in me to take on important projects.”
We asked Gabby to tell us more about her internship experience.
What did you do as an intern in the Governor’s Press Office?
My daily work included writing tweets for the governor’s social media accounts, compiling broadcast clips, editing sections of the newsletter, and creating a collection of news stories for the governor and his staff. Overall, the role of a press office intern was to keep the governor’s office up to date on current events, educate the public on policy issues, and maintain the governor’s image.
One project I loved working on was creating video scripts for the governor. When the governor couldn’t attend an event, he sent in a video. These events ranged from award ceremonies to fraternity conventions. I was excited to be able to write a few of these scripts to pass on to the governor. They challenged me creatively as I wrote from perspectives that I wasn’t used to and learned the governor’s voice.
What is one big takeaway you have from this experience?
I have often been told that my majors aren’t reasonable career paths. This internship showed me that I can find a career that involves my love for writing and passion for political science and local government. There are so many jobs within state and local government and each has their own importance. I learned that I should continue to seek out jobs that match my interests and never settle for something I’m not passionate about.
How has this internship experience affected what you’ll do next?
This internship connected me to the Homegrown Fellowship. This fall, I will be working as the communications fellow for a number of democratic candidates across North Carolina. I’m excited to help more candidates connect with their following and build their campaigns. I am also excited for the creative liberty and increased responsibilities I will have.
What advice do you have for students considering a similar internship experience?
My advice to students considering political communications or press would be to ask for projects in the subjects you are interested in. People are willing to give you assignments that you show excitement for. Stay true to your interests and show others that you have strong interests. Everyone loves a passionate person.