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By: Madison Job

This past Friday, I had the opportunity to attend a Government Affairs and Lobbying panel at the Capital Building. I was showered with enticing information on what it’s like to work in the Government Relations field from a group of professional lobbyists in the Lansing area. Recently changing my major from Kinesiology to Journalism with a minor in Public Relations, I have been curious as to what this profession entails. 

What is Lobbying?

This is a form of advocacy meant to influence a decision being made at a federal, state, or local level. Within government affairs, lobbyists, (the people doing the pursuing) may attempt to sway a legislative official’s opinion one way or another.

How is this done?

Here is the best advice the professionals provided in order to be successful in the career:

  • Sell yourself (what’s better than a personable display of character?)
  • DO YOUR RESEARCH- present palatable information to display a depth of understanding on the topic
  • Don’t advocate for something you don’t believe in— if you want the change, you can make the change
  • Constantly be “on the ball”— making yourself available to your client’s needs highlights your aptitude for the job (and yes, you are the best there is for it!)
  • Own it— confidence is key 

What are the pros of this career?

  • Lucrative business— if you do well, it pays well
  • 24 – hour job (both a pro and con)
  • Opportunity to network is everywhere— each of the six professionals have at one point worked with one another
  • Some businesses offer the choice to travel frequently
  • Rewarding— a job well done is something to celebrate!

What are the cons of this career?

  • 24 – hour job
  • You don’t see your kids as often as you like (if you have any)
  • Making yourself available to your client more than your family
  • High stress levels

What if I want to pursue a career in this field?

  • EXPERIENCE EXPERIENCE EXPERIENCE— the professionals could not stress that enough
  • Internship on a legislative level— many began on a campaign at the Capital building (right down the road!)
  • Build communications skills— yes, learn how to answer a phone

Overall, a career in Government Affairs absolutely is appealing to me as I continue my endeavor to a future career. I have the utmost respect for the daily accomplishments of our government and it would be an honor to one day work in such a respectable environment.

 

Who attended the panel? Click the links to learn more!

Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association (or MITA)

Governmental Consultant Services, Inc.

Creative Many Michigan

Acuitas

Sparrow Health System

Michigan Restaurant Association

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