DavisConnects - DavisConnects - Preparing Colby Students For Lifelong Success

Government & Policy

Government
For students with a commitment to grappling with complex legislative problems, coordinating effective policy solutions in partnership with others, and ensuring the improvement and just administration of government policies

The field of government and policy encompasses a wide range of interdisciplinary public service careers in diplomacy, advocacy, and federal, state, and local government. Some of these roles focus on revising and improving regulations and others on influencing the development of legislative policy areas. Others center on pursuing fundamental rights and social justice for communities through direct government action—as legislators creating policy or administrators implementing policy.

Colby alumni have worked in diverse settings: the U.S. House of Representatives, USAID, the World Bank, New York City Economic Development Corporation, Department of Justice, National Institutes of Health, Maine Department of the Secretary of the State, Human Rights Watch, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. They have joined think tanks, policy groups, legislative bodies, nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies.

Recruiting timelines for government and policy roles vary; learn more about recruiting timelines on our job search page.

Sample Pathways

Legislative Aide

Legislative Aide:

Legislative aides support legislators by drafting legislative initiatives, tracking issues and their development in committee or on the floor, coordinating support and sponsorship, liaising with committee and agency staff, meeting with constituents or agency representatives, and assisting with communications (e.g. speech writing, press releases, and mass mailings). 

Campaign Field Organizer

Campaign Field Organizer:

Campaign field organizers typically work for political parties in support of a chosen candidate’s campaign, for which they recruit, train, and manage volunteers for phone banking, voter registration, and canvassing events. Responsible for meeting weekly volunteer recruitment and voter contact goals, field organizers identify, persuade, and mobilize voters in a specific geographical area under the supervision of a field director.

Policy Analyst

Policy Analyst:

Often working for government agencies or organizations that lobby the government, policy analysts analyze existing or imminent policy problems, gather qualitative and quantitative data to explore the problem, and assess changes that could resolve these concerns. They write reports synthesizing evidence and knowledge from diverse viewpoints and stakeholders in order to raise awareness of the impacts and benefits of proposed solutions. 

Program Officer

Program Officer:

Program officers oversee the development of programs for nonprofit organizations or foundations and ensure that the management and leadership of the program aligns with key goals and initiatives. Their scope of oversight often includes project management, development, work planning, communications, budgets and contracts, grant proposals and prospecting, and research activities. 

Advice

  • Hone your research skills: Develop your ability to research and analyze data through courses, projects, and thesis options. If possible, engage in a longitudinal research project with multi- and interdisciplinary engagement and complex scope. 
  • Join local service and consulting projects: Seek out real-world opportunities to serve and support small businesses and organizations in the Waterville area in collaboration with Colby peers whose own frameworks and perspectives will challenge your own.
  • Build strong leadership experiences on campus:  Volunteering is a great way to start taking responsibility and demonstrating a commitment to service. Pursuing leadership opportunities within student government, organizations, and advisory boards gives you opportunities to engage in dialogues that impact and make decisions that improve the institution at which you are enrolled and the community you serve.

Relevant Skills

  • Communication skills: can present ideas and evidence, write policy proposals and analysis, create persuasive argumentation 
  • Quantitative skills: can perform cost/benefit analysis, evaluate financial reports, understand survey research methods
  • Research analytics: can understand policy reports, analyze and interpret data, develop research models, define the dimensions of complex problems, data visualization and modeling
  • Interpersonal skills: can understand different frameworks, negotiate through conflicts, synthesize contradictory information or viewpoints, make decisions 

Grossman Hall
(207) 859-4140
[email protected]

Office Hours
Monday – Thursday:
8 a.m. – midnight
Friday: 8 a.m – 6 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday:
9 a.m. – midnight