Junior Ruhan Syed Learns Campaign Management and Political Consulting at the Blue Lab

Ruhan Syed is a Junior at IU, studying Political Science, Business Management through the Liberal Arts Management Program (LAMP), and Islamic Studies. Alongside this, Ruhan is involved in multiple organizations on campus such as the IU Student Government, where he serves as the Student Body Vice President. Ruhan is also involved in the Muslim Student Association at IU.  After graduation, Ruhan plans to attend law school. This past summer, he had the opportunity to work as a Summer Associate at the Blue Lab where he learned many different aspects of Campaign Management and Political Consulting. As a Summer Associate, Ruhan worked in teams to assist local and state-wide candidates who would not normally have access to the ballot. Moreover, Ruhan learned how to operate in comms, finance, and outreach, providing associates with a well-rounded education on political campaigns.

How did this experience impact you personally and professionally?
“Political campaigns can be messy and difficult to navigate, having the opportunity to work on multiple smaller campaigns in different capacities allowed me to see through the messiness and gain a much clearer understanding of how a campaign should operate. Furthermore, this summer helped me discover new skill I didn’t know I had while also letting me support candidates whose visions I support”

What were some of the most rewarding parts of this experience?
“One of the best things about the Blue Lab is you can start to apply what you’re learning almost immediately on another campaign. My time with the Blue Lab let me step-up with another major federal campaign in an important way to help keep them in the running”

What did you learn about the industry?
“The political industry is much less binary than people believe, also there are dozens of specialties that can be needed or pulled in to help run the most efficient and effective campaign. Also, data analytics is becoming a large part of political campaigns and how they communicate with voters”

What do you wish you would have known before you started this position? Or what would you tell others before they start an internship?
“You only get out as much as you put in, so be willing to take the extra step and schedule more hours for yourself if you have the time”

By Geoffrey Heck
Geoffrey Heck Peer Coach Geoffrey Heck