Jacqueline Paolino ’14 has spent the fall semester working as a finance fellow as part of Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe’s campaign team in Virginia. She saw this new, competitive opportunity to work on the campaign of Governor-elect McAuliffe as a way to peak her interest in the political sphere.
Through her fellowship, Paolino first worked in the McAuliffe campaign research department where she learned various strategies for researching and fact checking, particularly about political opponents. She then transitioned to the finance and fund raising department where she assisted a team of five that raised $40 million for the campaign.
“I did a lot more than just fundraising and finance,” Paolino says. “I also participated in political and field projects too. It was an all-encompassing experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I was able to drive to Richmond on a couple occasions with our campaign manager, Robby Mook. It was really a great experience being able to pick his brain about politics, and get career advice from one of the most gifted campaign managers of our generation.”
After working big hours on the campaign trail, Paolino says she is impressed by how much of an influence HWS has had on helping her build her confidence, an essential tool she used throughout the campaign.
Paolino believes this experience on McAuliffe’s campaign has changed her personality and work ethic immensely. While she would love to continue with similar activities, she also looks forward to returning to Geneva to begin the spring semester of her senior year.
“Smaller classes and close relationships with teachers and faculty, especially President Gearan and Mary Gearan helped me share my ideas with confidence and learn from the input I was given and this is a very essential tool for working in a competitive environment,” she says.
Currently, Paolino is taking night classes focused on managing state and local government at George Washington University (GWU). Over the summer, she also took philosophy and publicity ethics courses at GWU. At HWS, she is a political science major with a minor in media and society. After graduation, Paolino aims to seek a career in fund raising.