FAQ for Trainees

What kind of person will be accepted to the week-long trainings?

We’re looking for recent college graduates – or people who are ready for a change in career and can uproot themselves onto a campaign for several months – who are passionate about progressive politics. Campus or community leadership, or any kind of grassroots organizing experience, is a plus. Excellent writing skills and aptitude with Internet media or a technical background are required. Since campaigns are 24-7, you’d better have a strong work ethic.

When will I know if I’m accepted?

We’ll notify you by January 20 if you’re accepted. The Winter week-long training will take place February 24-March 4; you’ll be sent to a campaign immediately or very soon after that, where you’ll work through Election Day (November 7, 2006).

How big are the classes?

We are expecting a total class of no more than 50 staffers for the February training – you’ll do much of your work in small groups and teams. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to get to know your colleagues and instructors.

How do I pay for this training, travel, expenses and job placement assistance?

You don’t! The New Organizing Institute picks up the tab for training, pays for your travel to Washington DC before and after the training, free job placement assistance and continuing mentorship and support into your career. Note: you’ll be expected to become a mentor yourself soon enough!

What happens at the week-long training?

Think of it as extreme job training. It’s a mixture of lectures, discussions and exercises – combined with an intensive simulated campaign where teams compete against each other to win. This is hardcore training, with days running from early morning often until…well…early morning! You will not have free time during training week.

How much time will I have between training and heading to the campaign?

If you are accepted for placement on a campaign, you’ll be sent to your targeted campaign immediately or very soon after the training. In some cases, campaigns will not be ready for you immediately.

Do I get to choose which campaign I work with?

You will have the opportunity to learn about the campaigns available and give your prhe quicl ntpowmeferences. The Institute will assign you to a campaign based on your experience and performance at the training – and on the individual needs of the campaigns.

What kind of campaign will I be sent to?

You will be sent to the state or federal race for a progressive candidate where you can have the most enriching experience and play a critical role on the campaign. We choose our campaigns based on an estimation of where online organizers can make the most difference. Criteria include the following:

  • Is the candidate and campaign leadership dealing with technology and the Internet at a senior-staff level?
  • Are they willing to engage supporters directly and sincerely using email, the campaign web site, blogs and other online media?
  • Are they willing to integrate online organizing into the field program?
  • Is there sufficient excitement and media attention around the campaign and candidate to generate significant activity online?

What will I do on the campaign?

Depending on the size and existing staffing on your campaign you may hold a position from Intern to Director of Internet Operations. No matter what your role, the Institute will only place you where you can play a key role and have an enriching experience.

How much will I get paid on the campaign?

Salary, benefits and housing assistance will vary from campaign to campaign. These are entry level jobs on political campaigns – if your goal is to save a chunk of money over 2006 then this is not the job for you.

What happens after the campaign?

The weekend after Election Day, everyone reunites in Washington, DC for a debrief and retreat. Our trainers will help you develop a persuasive resume and find your next job – in electoral politics, with progressive organizations or elsewhere.