I was once told that asking for something will not hurt me; more often than not, people will want to help. The speaker was discussing how she got an internship that acted as a springboard for her to become the Communications Director for a prominent senator. Despite her story, my nervous self doubted that she was correct. I understood that there are some things in life that one can not do by themselves, but I did not believe that people who could help would want to.
That was in July of this year. Fast forward to this past week, one I spent reaching out to City Hall officials. Before I pressed “SEND,” I had a moment of fear. What exactly was I afraid of, though? I didn’t honestly think that something awful would happen the moment a professional in public policy read my email. While sending requests for informational interviews, I realized that the speaker from this summer wasn’t wrong. I received plenty of responses from City Councilmen and Party Chairmen who were ready to help in any way. I finished the week without a disaster. What was I afraid of? Asking for help is the only way people know I want to interview them.
While I have spent my first two weeks of the Independent Study Mentorship program learning how to speak, research, and conduct myself in a professional sense, I have primarily learned how to reach out to people with confidence. Knowing this has made me feel a lot more optimistic towards this year. Asking for help gaining experience in public policy will not hurt me, it is what will enable me to gain experience.