100 People Learn About Conservative Careers at LI’s Workshop This Week
Lauren Hart
November 18, 2011
100 People Learn About Conservative Careers at LI’s Workshop This Week
One hundred people attended the Conservative Career Workshop Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at LI's Steven P.J. Wood Building in Arlington, VA.“This was some of the best advice I've received for my job search. I learned about the interview process and negotiating a salary. I had no idea how to negotiate salary prior to this! I feel more confident about tweaking my resume and going into an interview now," said Heritage Foundation Coalition Relations Intern Dixie Cline.The Conservative Career Workshop helps those looking to sharpen their professional skills and for those searching for their next career move. Attendees learned about different paths in the conservative movement from working on the Hill, in a think-tank, or for a non-profit.“I learned how to take my private sector experience toward perspective job opportunities in the conservative movement," said Robert Towner, a Government Technical Coordinator for Verizon Wireless.LI had a great lineup of expert faculty, including:-American Conservative Union Director of CPAC Chris Malagisi-Americans for Prosperity Foundation Recruiter Andrea McCarthy-Foreign Policy Initiative Director of Government Relations & Outreach Rachel Hoff-FreedomWorks Federal and State Campaigns Director Brendan Steinhauser-Global Vision Communications Principal and Founder/CEO of Ladies America Lindsey Mask-Heritage Foundation Recruiter Kristine Bramsen-Leadership Institute Vice President Steven Sutton-Leadership Institute Director of ConservativeJobs.com Emily Miller-Republican Study Committee Executive Director Paul Teller“At the conservative Career Workshop I learned to be more confident in networking and utilizing the contacts I have. It's a great workshop that will provide insider tips to finding a job in D.C.” said Kelly Cassara, the media/field department intern for Concerned Women for America.Family Research Council intern Terri Hufschmid said, “The information about propriety in networking and resume formats was extremely helpful. I will be using this for the rest of my life!”Americans for Limited Government Senior Research Analyst Richard McCarty, another attendee, said: “I have attended several LI schools, and I've always found them interesting and insightful, as well as good places to network.”During the two evenings, attendees learned to: find career paths in the conservative movement; successfully get a job on the Hill; negotiate salary; enhance resume and interview skills; and have an effective personal brand.Avant Garde Information Solutions Financial Controller Patrick Fabian said: “The Leadership Institute provides the must-have tools necessary for a conservative activist to transition to a full-time career related to public policy.”LI offers training year-around. Come get trained to be effective in public policy. >
It’s Veteran’s Day; Thank a Veteran
Mikayla Hall
November 11, 2011
It’s Veteran’s Day; Thank a Veteran
While recognition of military service is prevalent throughout American history, the modern-day view of Veteran's Day largely began in 1926 when most states established November 11 as a legal holiday.The original name was Armistice Day, which changed to Veteran's Day in 1954.Across America, communities honor those who sacrifice greatly and selflessly to defend the United States. There are hundreds, if not thousands of events today, but here are some of the highlights for the Washington, D.C. area:• Wreath laying ceremonies on November 11: -Arlington National Cemetery: 11 a.m. -Vietnam Veterans Memorial: 1 p.m. -World War II Memorial: 9 a.m. -Navy Memorial: 1 p.m. -Air Force Memorial: 11 a.m.• Mount Vernon: -All-veteran barbershop chorus: 11 a.m. -Wreath laying at George Washington's tomb: 2 p.m.• Veterans Day Parade in Manassas, November 12 at 11 a.m. Parade starts at intersection of Quarry Rd. and Prescott Ave., travels south on Prescott and then west on Center St. ending at West St. For more information, click here.Check out your local events to find a parade or memorial near you. Most importantly, thank a soldier.Have a safe and happy Veteran's Day! >
Conservatives Polish their PR Skills at LI’s Advanced Public Relations School
Mikayla Hall
November 9, 2011
Conservatives Polish their PR Skills at LI’s Advanced Public Relations School
The past three evenings this week, 20 conservatives gathered in Arlington, Virginia at the Leadership Institute's Steven P.J. Wood Building to enhance their public relations skills at LI's Advanced Public Relations School.Attendees came from many backgrounds, including: non profits, government agencies, and defense contractors.The training blended the lecture style most common with LI trainings with hands-on practice. As LI's Director of Communications Training Rachel Phillips noted, “PR is about practice. You can learn these skills the more you work on them.”Attendees formed groups to practice the lessons taught by: Jessica Towhey of Dezenhall Resources; Stuart Roy of Prism Public Affairs; and Abigail Alger of LI. Each group was given a scenario, brainstormed how to respond to the crisis, and then held a mock press conference.One group represented a restaurant company with a food crisis. They had a Bird Flu outbreak and had to respond to public concerns. One person played the role of a communications director, one had to write the press release, and the third person played the spokesman during the press conference.To find out when LI is hosting more public relations training, visit http://leadershipinstute.org/training. >
LI’s International Leadership Training Seminar Trains 77 Conservatives From Around the World
Mikayla Hall
November 2, 2011
LI’s International Leadership Training Seminar Trains 77 Conservatives From Around the World
Last week the Leadership Institute hosted 77 representatives from 12 countries—Bolivia, Kenya, Latvia, Mexico, Mongolia, Peru, Romani, Russia, Spain, Tanzania, United Kingdom, and the United States.The International Leadership Training Seminar (ILTS) was a week-long crash course in communications, fundraising, negotiations, and on-camera techniques.Member of the Bolivian Parliament Paola Zapata Montaño said, “The Leadership Institute has made me proud of being a conservative, and has equipped me with not only the right tools, but also the right principles that motivate me to recover the democratic lifestyle that Bolivia deserves.”Notable attendees included Armando Vera, the founder and president of the Hispanic Tea Party; Paola Zapata Montaño, a member of the Bolivian parliament; Lkhagvajav Dolgorjav, the Secretariat's manager for the Democratic Party of Zavkhan province; and Dr. Ole-Ronkei Morompi, the advocacy director at Compassion International.The training was taught in/translated into English, Spanish, and Mongolian. Those in attendance learned from experts in various fields, including: Stephen Clouse, the president of Stephen D. Clouse & Associates; Ann Fitzgerald, president of A.C. Fitzgerald & Associates, LLC; and Giuseppe Gori, the president of Central Dynamics.When asked what he enjoyed about these lectures, Compassion International Advocacy Director Dr. Morompi said, “Strategic use of social media for purposes of political mobilization, fund-raising and ultimately winning an election is certainly the highlight of the training for me at LI.”After three days of intensive training at LI, the group toured the U.S. Capitol. From there, The Heritage Foundation opened their doors and gave additional lectures on the economic index, new media, and how a think tank like Heritage and a “do tank” like LI can work well with conservative activists and officials who want to make a difference.“Graduates of The Leadership Institute go on to be amazing leaders for their cause, both here in America and back in their home countries,” said Bridgett Wagner, Heritage's director of coalition relations.Before returning to their respective countries, some of the attendees offered their kind words about their time at LI.Bolivia's think tank Funbolider's President Alejandro Barja said, “This training has allowed me to change my thinking and my behavior and it has equipped me to better solve the problems of leadership we face and fulfill the needs in my region and country in a positive way.”Interested in attending a future International Leadership Training Seminar? Contact LI's Director International & Government Training Miguel Moreno at (703) 247-2000.Other Leadership Institute training is available here. >
Leadership Memo: Spotlight on the Institute of World Politics
Abigail Alger
October 30, 2011
Leadership Memo: Spotlight on the Institute of World Politics
Dr. John Lenczowski founded the Institute of World Politics (IWP), an independent graduate school, in 1990 to teach what no one else did: statecraft.Statecraft, as Dr. Lenczowski explained, consists of different "arts": military power and political warfare, political action and information programs, and peace-making and law enforcement. In concert, these arts are the “instruments of national power."Yet many American officials are unaware of them.After work for the State Department and the National Security Council, Dr. Lenczowski perceived that people "were inadequately intellectually and professionally prepared" for their jobs in government.He founded IWP to provide that missing intellectual and professional preparation in foreign affairs, defense, and intelligence.Today IWP, located in Washington, DC, offers three Master's programs, eight Certificate of Graduate Study programs, and an internship for college students.Its faculty is composed of “scholar-practitioners,” people with work experience in places like the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Defense, and the military.Many students are mid-career professionals in related fields. Some are sent to study at IWP by intelligence agencies or military branches.IWP has been successful in working with what Dr. Lenczowski calls the "permanent bureaucracy" and the armed forces. He credits it to the Institute's integrated study of statecraft, and then provides an example. Today's Army officers must integrate traditional military power with counterinsurgency and stability operations, Dr. Lenczowksi said. The Army has sent officers to IWP because it “educates them in related, complementary arts” necessary to fulfill those duties.But an IWP degree is in more than just strategy. IWP offers courses on America's founding principles, the Western moral tradition, and the use of power. This prepares graduates for an important struggle: the battle of ideas.The Cold War, Dr. Lencowski explains, was a war between “two different philosophies of life and of government.” But foreign policy professionals -- who did not understand the American founding -- were not ready to study and wage intellectual war against Marxism and Leninism. IWP does not intend to repeat that error.Dr. Lencowski explained IWP welcomes the public and LI graduates to learn more about IWP and its programs.You may apply to take an individual IWP course or for admission to a graduate study program. You may also attend one of its many lectures, special events, and annual dinners -- all of which feature prominent speakers.Dr. Lencowski is both Leadership Institute faculty and graduate, having attended the Direct Mail School. He advised Institute staff on founding the Foreign Service Opportunity School and has lectured at several LI campaign trainings on foreign policy issues.You may learn more about Dr. Lencowski's IWP online at IWP.edu or by calling (888) KNOW-IWP.>
Meet LI’s Fall Interns On Video
Mikayla Hall
October 28, 2011
Meet LI’s Fall Interns On Video
Want to know what it's like to be an intern at the Leadership Institute?Eight of the current interns created profile videos to tell you a bit more about their background and what they do in their department.Click their picture to watch the video.Thomas Cloud: Office of the President Intern Mikayla Hall: Recruitment Intern Laci Lawrence: Employment Placement Service Intern Charlie Creitz: LI Studios/Online Programs Intern Angela Mitchell: Events Intern Frank Manning: Donor Relations Intern Obed Bazikian: Youth Leadership Schools Intern For more on the LI intern program please click here.>
Activists learn to run youth campaigns in two Florida Youth Leadership Schools
Mikayla Hall
October 26, 2011
Activists learn to run youth campaigns in two Florida Youth Leadership Schools
This fall has been extremely busy for LI's Youth Leadership School (YLS) department. In October alone, there have been six YLS trainings around the country. The Sunshine State is particularly popular: LI trained 56 young conservatives in Tampa and Tallahassee this month.The YLS, an intensive, two-day program known as the “boot camp” of politics, is the Leadership Institute's flagship training. Attendees learn what it takes to build an effective student organization and youth campaign. The YLS has launched more political careers than any other Institute training.In Tampa, 21 conservative activists from more than five organizations participated. “[The YLS] has been a life-changing experience for me,” said Mechelle Morgan, a University of South Florida student.“I will remember this weekend for the rest of my life.”One week later, 35 conservatives attended the Tallahassee YLS. Graduates left the training energized and ready to get involved. There were three students who had returned to take the YLS again, and others expressed interest in hosting their own YLS in their hometown.Anna Crow, an attendee and Institute supporter from Pensacola, said, “Seeing all the bright, intelligent, knowledgeable students here was the most heart-warming part—the future leaders of America.”Interested in attending the Youth Leadership School? There are still eight trainings in 2011. To register for this school and other schools, please go here. >
What Not to Do: Career Search/Interview Bloopers
Laci Lawrence
October 24, 2011
What Not to Do: Career Search/Interview Bloopers
It's time for a little tough love to current job seekers. Some people have excellent resumes, cover letters, and interviewing skills, and some do not. Chances are if you are reading this blog you are looking for some help. Congratulations for taking the first step in a job search: asking for advice! I have compiled a list of absolute, never ever, do not's for your job search. These are golden standards that apply to every job sector, and the types of issues that result in resume trash-dunking contests across the country. The tips may seem like no-brainers, but pay attention to each of them to make sure your resume doesn't end up as a paper airplane cruising your dream job's office.1. Never use family and friends as references. Employers know your mom will give the most glowing reference of your selfless dedication and organizational skills, but what they really what to know is why you couldn't find a real reference for your application. If you have worked somewhere for several months and you use your sister as a reference, the “red flag” is immediately raised for the employer. 2. Watch for suspect job skills or descriptions. In the wise words of George Washington in his Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation, “Show nothing to your friend that might affright him.” Review your resume and have others critique your resume. You might be surprised how many mistakes remain even after you have spent hours formatting and editing. Look for strange descriptions that might make for hilarious office emails but not a credible resume. If a friend reading the job description has no idea what tasks you performed, find another way to describe your duties. Also, avoid labeling yourself as unemployed or unlicensed. Find a positive way to express your current job status (i.e. jobseeker).3. Check any bad attitude or negativity at the door. The job market is tough right now, there's no question about that. You have probably been working your tail off applying for jobs, networking, and sending out your resume to everyone you can think of. It is a frustrating process! Despite any aggravation you've had with previous failures, adopt a positive and upbeat attitude for the job interview process. Find positive things to say about your job search and experiences or say nothing at all.4. Avoid oversharing during the interview. Returning to the wise words of our first President: “Be not tedious in discourse or in reading unless you find the company pleased therewith.” When asked the inevitable “Tell me about yourself” question, be prepared to answer with a concise and relevant response. The employer does not want to know your life story despite the open-endedness of the question. It is easy to become stressed in the interview and spew useless information; review potential questions before the interview and practice your answers.5. Do not be the silly applicant. Read and re-read the job posting and any document you submit to the employer. Nothing is more embarrassing than sending the wrong cover letter to an employer or sending your application to the wrong person. Be sure you have the correct email address and that you have properly submitted all documentation. Incomplete applications rarely go further than the recycle bin, and incorrectly submitted applications cause employers to assume that you are incapable of following directions. If the job posting is confusing, do not hesitate to call or email the employer for clarification. 6. Work your opportunities. Has someone offered to help you? Did a colleague provide some advice? Have you utilized your network? From my personal experience, it is easy to complain about not having a job, but it is harder to continually apply for jobs, seek new avenues of employment, and ask for help. Make sure you take people up on their offers to help with your job search. If you are a new jobseeker, all advice should be relevant and at least educational. It only takes one person to take notice of your ambition and qualifications to land the perfect job. Talk with people, find out their opinions on potential employers, and discover their personal career path. It is often said that searching for a job is a job in and of itself. Are you working 8 hours a day to find your dream job? Chances are other people are working just as strenuously.I hope you will use this advice to your advantage as you apply for jobs and receive interviews. Talk to any hiring representatives, and they will have some hilarious and horrifying stories of their own. Make sure that on the interview day you are the polished, confident, and intelligent candidate. Good luck!>
LI’s Employee of the Quarter Heather Homan Breaks Records in the Political Training Department
Mikayla Hall and Lauren Hart
October 21, 2011
LI’s Employee of the Quarter Heather Homan Breaks Records in the Political Training Department
At the Leadership Institute's Tuesday all-staff meeting, LI President Morton Blackwell awarded Heather Homan, political training coordinator, the Employee of the Quarter Award.A graduate of the University of Toledo and working toward her second master's degree, Heather balances extensive political involvement with her record-breaking recruitment efforts and dedication to her department.When announcing the Employee of the Quarter Award,LI Founder and President Morton Blackwell said, “Historically, [the fundraising and career] schools are challenging to recruit for, but Heather has risen to the occasion and has led three record-breaking trainings. She has revamped the curriculum of her schools to ensure students receive the latest information from the top speakers in the field. She continuously sets high goals for herself and the department, and always goes above and beyond my expectations.”Most impressive was Heather's work with September's High Dollar Fundraising School. Seventy-nine students registered, making it the largest school of its kind in the 32-year history of LI. Other records include bringing 114 students to the Written Communications Workshop and 122 to the Conservative Intern Workshop.All the hard work doesn't faze Heather. She said, “Conventional wisdom has always said to find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life. Working for Morton and among the talented individuals and faculty members here at LI is an honor. I am truly blessed God has afforded me the opportunity to truly live my passion each day and work for such a significant organization in the conservative movement.”Taylor Bryant, an attendee at the Conservative Intern Workshop Heather managed, said, “The whole experience was amazing. I wish I could have had this before I came to DC. This training was an once-in-a-lifetime experience.”Director of Political Training Tyler Foote and Heather's boss said, "Heather has been an amazing addition to our department and the Leadership Institute as a whole. Her creativity and dedication when it comes to recruiting students and building new relationships has allowed LI to reach a wider audience than in previous years. Heather's time at LI, although short, has already made a significant impact on our organization.”Heather's record of great achievements extends beyond LI. Prior to becoming a political training coordinator, Heather spent five years working for U.S. Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) both in his district office and on Capitol Hill as legislative staff. While on the Hill, Partnership for a Secure America selected her for a competitive national security fellowship and Foreign Policy's “The Cable” listed her as a “Hill Staffer to Watch in 2010”.She tripled the Arlington/Falls Church Young Republicans membership in a few short months, organized and led campaign deployments across the country for the DC Young Republicans, and currently sits on the Membership and Campaign Committee for the Young Republican National Federation. She is also honored to serve as the current National Committeewoman for the Young Republican Federation of Virginia.Want to experience one of Heather's trainings for yourself? Come to LI's upcoming Conservative Career Workshop November 15-16. To register for this school and to see a full list of LI programs, go to http://www.leadershipinstitute.org/training/>
Activists learn in-depth campaign techniques at LI’s Campaign Management School
Mikayla Hall
October 19, 2011
Activists learn in-depth campaign techniques at LI’s Campaign Management School
The Leadership Institute welcomed 41 conservative activists to LI's October Campaign Management School (CMS).Part of the LI's now monthly campaign training, the training teaches conservatives how to help the candidate of their choice run a productive and successful campaign.Craig Brandt, a veteran and candidate for the New Mexico State Senate, said, “As a candidate, before coming to LI I felt uninformed when discussing my own campaign with my campaign manager. I now have the knowledge to not only be a part of the discussion but lead the discussion.”Included in the lectures were the “ABCs of Polling,” taught by Tyler Harber, a partner with The Prosper Group, which described the purpose of polling and emphasized the importance of polling strategy. Also, Rebecca Norman, vice president of Client Services at the Richard Norman Company, broke down how to write a fundraising letter. Other faculty included Terry Campo of The Campo Group; Consultant Dave Johnson; and Dan Morgan and Todd Meredith of Morgan, Meredith, Associates, to name a few.Armed with this information, graduates of LI's Campaign Management School go on to run and work on campaigns across the country.David Wiesley, principal at Hispanic Voter Strategies, referred to the school as “excellent” and “not to be missed.”Didn't make it to the Campaign Management School? Campaign training is now offered monthly, with the Future Candidate School coming up the week of December 5th. To register for this training and others, click here. >
So You Didn't Get the Job?
Laci Lawrence
October 13, 2011
So You Didn't Get the Job?
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Sometimes the interview went okay and sometimes the interview was the best you could imagine. In either scenario, the answer is the same: No thank you.Many articles exist to help you get the job, but this blog aims to help you regroup after the rejection. Consider these tips as you plan your next move.1. Analyze your interview. Think about what questions were asked and how you answered those questions. Were you confident, calm, and composed? Were you rambling, confusing, or withdrawn? I am normally so glad to be done with the interview that I immediately forget the bad parts or sugarcoat the reality of what occurred.You should really think about how you presented yourself during the interview to improve for future opportunities. I also recommend keeping an ongoing document of tough questions and your best answer to those questions. I will post a blog in a few weeks specifically about those terribly tricky interview questions that can tank an interview in about five minutes. Overall, be honest in your evaluation and decide how best to present yourself and correctly answer questions for the next interview.2. Review your portfolio. Make additional changes to your resume, writing sample, references list, etc. Have you sent your resume to other people for advice on mistakes or necessary changes? I edit my resume at least twice a month, and I still find little changes that can make it better. Remember that employers will consider your personality during the interview and the effectiveness and organization of your portfolio. If an employer is caught between two equally qualified candidates and one resume has grammatical or structural errors, you can guess who will receive the job offer. Take the time and make your portfolio the best it can be for the next interview.3. Consider alternative options. Yes, I said it – you may need to refocus your career search. For all of you diehards searching for a job in a narrow field, remember that the economy is not looking very bright. Perhaps several years ago you could jump right into your preferred field, but now current employers have smaller budgets and fewer employees.Take for instance Destiny Decker, a political science and religion major from North Carolina. Her entire undergraduate degree and experiences were aimed at working for a non-profit in England on the Middle East peace process. When things didn't work out, she worked at the Disney Store to make money and enhance her organizational, interpersonal, and diplomatic skills. Destiny continued her search for work in D.C. by using her local contacts, one of whom contacted the director of the Traditional Values Coalition. Her work ethic and skills landed her a salaried position five months later.Are you like Destiny? Take a job, learn new skills, continue looking, and prepare for the perfect opportunity.4. Cultivate your skills while you can. Do not languish at home wringing your hands about the lack of employment. Do something to make your resume better: find volunteer work, get an internship, or work at the Disney store!“Learn as many skills as possible in whatever you are doing,” Destiny recommends. You may even gain contacts through your temporary job that can help the search for your preferred job sector. Do not be afraid to work for a “plan B” or “plan C” employer. All of your experience adds up, and your work ethic can be demonstrated by taking those temporary positions.5. Don't give up. Keep searching for your dream job even though it seems unattainable at the present time. Who knows – maybe the dream job is five or ten years from now. Some opportunities may fall into your lap, whereas other opportunities are earned by hard work and dedication. If you find yourself in a job that is not exactly what you wanted originally, re-evaluate your goals. It could be that you love where you work now.After the whirlwind of changes, Destiny concludes, “Now that I know what my dream job is, I can honestly say I am doing my dream job. It has been challenging, but I know that everything I confront in the job world can either make me quit or make me stronger.”If you fall into the category of unemployed or underemployed, I hope these tips give you some ideas for the future and changes to make while searching. Keep up the hard work, and it will pay off, even if the final product is different than what you initially imagined.>
Congressman Tim Huelskamp, LI Graduate: “We’re Not Going to Win by Hiding”
Mikayla Hall
October 6, 2011
Congressman Tim Huelskamp, LI Graduate: “We’re Not Going to Win by Hiding”
Yesterday 72 conservatives filled the Leadership Institute's Steven P.J. Wood Building to hear Rep. Tim Huelskamp (KS-01) speak at the monthly Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast.“I want to thank you Morton for your leadership and helping train folks like myself,” said Rep. Huelskamp. “I've spent many an hour at an LI workshop, receiving the training. It is a distinct honor to be here this morning.”Fired up by recent news that the Department of Health and Human Services will have access to Americans' medical records, Rep. Huelskamp gave an impassioned plea for conservatives to take action in Congress.“It is taking the language of the left—taking the strategies and the technology and going out and convincing folks that we have the answers. It is our conservative principles that are going to win the day. But we're not going to win by hiding,” Rep. Huelskamp told the audience.He argued for Congress to promote conservative principles, not put off policy battles until a more favorable election.“[My colleagues say] ‘wait until 2013, we'll have the House, the Senate and the President.' But what if we don't get 60 votes in the Senate? Then we end up putting it off until 2015. ...but the only cuts that count are the ones you do now,” said Rep. Huelskamp.While discussing procrastination regarding budgetary issues, he noted: “Just because we're not fighting, doesn't mean we're not losing. If you're not fighting, they're adding trillions to the debt.”“There is a lack of urgency in Washington,” Rep. Huelskamp said in a call for more action and backbone from political leaders. “Just do what you say you're going to do.”“The idea that a young man—a kid out from the middle of nowhere—can end up in Washington, D.C. representing a Congressional district, that's pretty amazing.”You too can do great things with the right training.Check out the full schedule of LI's upcoming schools. The next Wake-Up Club Breakfast, scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 2, will feature Dr. Matthew Spalding, distinguished author and director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at The Heritage Foundation. For more information and to RSVP, please go here. >
LI Hires Four New Staff Members
Angela Mitchell
September 30, 2011
LI Hires Four New Staff Members
September 30, 2011, Arlington, VA--The Leadership Institute is excited to introduce four new staff who come from different backgrounds, but who are all eager to contribute to LI's mission and growing the conservative movement.Oliver Darcy brings a fresh perspective to the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program (CLP). Darcy is the new regional field coordinator for the Mid-West region, which includes MN, ND, SD, NE, KS, IA and MO. Before arriving at LI, Darcy interned with Congressman Jeff Denham, worked as a systems support coordinator in the health industry, and volunteered on numerous political campaigns.At LI, his duties include working to establish conservative activist groups on college campuses. When asked why he wanted to work with CLP, he stated simply that he “likes campus activism and exposing young adults to conservative principles.” Darcy's focus is to advance the conservative movement the best that he can, and LI is happy to have him as a part of the team.Emily Miller begins a new chapter in her career at LI after accepting the director of Employment Placement Services. Previously, she was intern coordinator. Emily will control and maintain LI's website, conservativejobs.com, which is also known as “the HR department of the conservative movement.” Her goal is to sustain the role of a one-stop-shop for conservative job seekers and employers, and to place them in the public policy job process.Originally from Canton, OH, Emily has also worked for the Koch Associate Program, as well as the Philanthropy Round Table, where she managed the education reform team as a project coordinator. She loves working with young conservative leaders through LI's internship program, and believes that her new position will only expand upon that role.Trey McKenzie recently joined LI as a donor relations officer, where he corresponds with many of the Institute's donors in any way that is needed. Prior to joining the LI team, he interned with both Senator John Boozman from his home state of Arkansas and Americans for Prosperity, where he first heard of LI.Trey decided he wanted to join LI because he believes in the organization's mission, which is to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders in the public policy process. He has a passion to get others involved any way that he can, and his previous experience working in the conservative movement both for a legislator as well as within the non-profit sector will add to the work that he continues with LI. Emily Ames, the director of donor relations at LI says, “Trey is enthusiastic to learn and takes the extra step to help out everyone in our department. He is always looking for ways to improve processes around here, and he definitely thinks outside the box.”Also joining the Development Department is Karla Bruno, the new director of foundation and corporate relations. Her new position focuses on both fundraising and grant writing. Growing up in a military family (her father was a United States Marine), she is familiar with the concept of adapting quickly, and that is exactly what she has done at LI.Karla, an English teacher and a librarian for nearly 20 years, is also a writer and journalist. She became involved with the Wren Cross incident at the college of William & Mary, which initially began her interest within the realm of conservative politics. Steve Sutton, vice president of development and campus programs, is excited at the new development work Karla and the department is working on as they set new goals this year. He said, “We've always wanted to greatly increase our outreach to corporations, and this is one area we are particularly excited about.”The Leadership Institute welcomes all new hires.Would you like to join the LI team? The Institute currently has two open positions—the business systems engineer and intern coordinator.>
Conservatives Learn Media Strategies at two LI Communication Schools
Mikayla Hall
September 28, 2011
Conservatives Learn Media Strategies at two LI Communication Schools
September 28, 2011, Arlington, VA—A combined total of 40 people spent September 19-23 improving their media skills with two back-to-back communications trainings: the Leadership Institute's Public Relations School and Broadcast Journalism School.The Public Relations School was an intensive three-day evening training focused on preparing attendees to handle the media for their causes or campaigns.Faculty included Blain Rethmeier, senior vice president for Public Affairs for the American Insurance Association (AIA); Scott Hogenson, a senior vice president at Dezenhall Resources; and the Leadership Institute's own Director of Digital Communications Abigail Alger, to name a few. Attendees learned valuable tips such as, “Don't let people talk to the press who haven't been prepped beforehand” and “unless it's about security, don't dictate to the press.”Other tips included the timing of hosting events, the amount of time people should post on Twitter vs. Facebook, creating ambiance for media events and building relationships.Lauren Valainis, an intern for Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03), said the Public Relations School was “a great way to learn PR basics, get great advice, and increase my DC network.”Similarly, Chad Hemmert, a writer for the Community College of Denver's Campus Connection Newspaper, said the training was “informative, lively [and] practical.”To end the week, the Broadcast Journalism School was a two-day lesson in on-camera media strategy. Kristen Cosby, a freelance reporter for Jacksonville's WJXT-TV, led most of the training. She used her own experience as the backdrop for lessons on everything from makeup application/clothing/jewelry to writing broadcast reports to actually standing in front of a camera for a live feed.LI Intern Thomas Cloud (pictured), was one of the students who tried the on-camera exercises. Afterwards, he said: “I was a bit nervous about talking without a script, but with Kristen's advice and some practice, I felt more confident standing in front of that camera. I would recommend the training to anyone who wants a career in media.”Missed the Broadcast Journalism School? LI will have a Television Workshop on October 7. To register for this school and others offered year-round, check out http://www.leadershipinstitute.org/training/ >
Conservative Activists Are More Confident After LI’s High-Dollar Fundraising School
Mikayla Hall
September 23, 2011
Conservative Activists Are More Confident After LI’s High-Dollar Fundraising School
September 23, 2011, Arlington, VA--Last week the Leadership Institute broke a record of 79 students who attended LI's High Dollar Fundraising School. Attendees discovered ways to enhance the causes and candidates of their choice with effective fundraising.The expert faculty included Todd Meredith, co-owner of Morgan, Meredith & Associates; Tracey Johnson, President and CEO of Credo Strategies; and LI's own Marci LeBlanc and Steve Sutton from the development department.Attendees learned how to write grant proposals, distinguish the differences between types of donations, communicate strategically with donors, and establish a high-dollar direct mail program."The LI High Dollar fundraising workshop was extremely helpful. After completing the class, I immediately put the skills I learned to use, and have already secured additional funding for my non-profit," said GI Film Festival Executive Director Laura Law-Millett.Jerry Cave, owner of his own communications and search engine optimization company, says he plans to use the training to possibly pursue a career in advocacy. “[The] Leadership Institute is a fabulous opportunity to learn and develop new skills and meet fellow conservatives. [It was] a tremendous learning experience!”LI Intern Fredrick McKinley said he always was afraid of asking people for money, “but after attending the High-Dollar Fundraising School, [he] feels more confident that [he] will be able to successfully help a campaign raise money.”Lynda Fairman, We the People district coordinator for VA-01 and York County coordinator for Tom Harmon for VA Senate Campaign said, “LI's High Dollar Fundraising School gave me practical, ‘real world' methods that will help me while working on political campaigns and for non-profit organizations and schools. Presentations from experts in the field address everything from assessing dollars needed to asking for different levels of donations to finalizing the deposit and organizing reports, this school covers it all for success from beginning to end!”“I've already started using this knowledge to help the We the People program replace the defunded federal funds so we can continue to train teachers to teach the Constitution with non-partisan curriculum in all schools at all levels,” Lynda continued. “In addition to this job, I plan on sharing what I've learned as I work on political campaigns to help conservative candidates raise the funds needed to win elections.”“The Leadership Institute presents quality programs with expert information I can use right away. After graduating from several of their schools and their grassroots training and workshops, I highly recommend any of their classes,” Lynda said. “LI is, truly, a class act for success!”Are you interested in attending the High-Dollar Fundraising School or other Leadership Institute trainings? To register for this school and others, check out http://www.leadershipinstitute.org/training/ >
Preparing for the Interview
Laci Lawrence
September 16, 2011
Preparing for the Interview
Congratulations! You received the call from your dream job company, and they want to interview you in a week. After the celebratory victory dance, which is merited, since you probably made the cut from a much larger pool of candidates, it's time to think about the interview. Here is a short list of things to think about, execute, or prepare for prior to the big day. Each tip is designed to cut the unnecessary stress out of an inherently stressful day.1. Always bring at least 3 copies of your resume and any documentation you sent in with your application. It seems silly, especially because you know the company already has all of your information, but I have been asked on at least 3 interviews for my resume. Avoid awkward moments by being smooth and prepared with your resume, writing sample, and references on hand.2. Review the company website, publications, and community involvement before the interview. Chances are you already checked out the company before you applied, but a quick refresher is important so you know exactly how to respond to the interview questions. Also, check if anyone you know works at the company. They might have advice from their personal experience with the company and insider company policy. If you do not know anyone at the company, try researching the competition and their view on your potential employer. Integrate this research into your interview answers, and you will look not only smart, but already familiar with the company's policies.3. If you can, find out who your interviewer(s) will be before you arrive. Research what they do for the company. You may discover you have friends or causes in common, and it can never hurt to drop a line or two you know will be favorable to the interviewer.4. One of the most important tips is being on time for the interview. Drive by the interview location a day before the interview and make sure to check on parking options and traffic issues for the particular area. I interviewed for a job in a busy downtown area and did not anticipate the complete lack of parking. When I finally did find parking, I was stressed and frazzled. I was not late to the interview, but anxious sweat is not the best start to an interview.5. Pick out the “winning outfit” the day before. Find your favorite interview outfit, including accessories and jewelry, and try it on. Does it still fit and make you feel fabulous? If not, find the next best option and stick with it the day of the interview. 6. Plan your meal time appropriately. You should eat something before the interview, if just to avoid the loud stomach grumbles in the middle of the interview. Do not, under any circumstances, drink alcohol before your interview. One of my previous employers said he had several people walk into the interview with alcohol fumes on their breath, and he immediately eliminated them from the hiring process. Celebrate after the interview.Now that you have some great tips, use them! You might be anxious about the interview when you walk into the employer's office, but just think about the other potential candidates who failed to bring copies of their resume, frantically searched for parking, or forgot to research the employer properly. You are already several steps ahead of them, so put on a smile and work that interview. >
Tomorrow is Constitution Day--Read the Founding Document
Mikayla Hall
September 16, 2011
Tomorrow is Constitution Day--Read the Founding Document
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Taking LI’s Campaign Management School is like going to the “NFL from high school”
Mikayla Hall
September 14, 2011
Taking LI’s Campaign Management School is like going to the “NFL from high school”
September 14, 2011, Arlington, VA—The Campaign Management School held last week at the Leadership Institute was four full days and trained 22 students. David Wiesby said, “I am 58-years-old and have attended many schools and training events, but this is the best of the best. It is like going to the NFL from high school.”Stephen Clouse, president of Stephen Clouse & Associates, and James Davis, an associate with Brunswick Group, were among the expert faculty teaching at the school.“Before I attended I had no idea how to begin raising money, but I feel more prepared to get started,” said student Erin Ashley.Attendees learned how to create a campaign plan, target and identify voters, develop a message, pick one of the various fundraising strategies, and quickly and correctly respond to the media.Armed with this knowledge, graduates of LI's Campaign Management School go on to run and work on campaigns across the country.“[The Campaign Management School] was a comprehensive crash course on campaigning that maximizes content over a condensed time frame. …I plan to incorporate this training into my upcoming campaign for the West Virginia House of Delegates,” said Elliot Simon.Elliot learned of the Leadership Institute from his friends who are delegates in the West Virginia legislature: Jonathan Miller and Eric Householder.Want to learn how to run a quality campaign? The best campaign schools are now available monthly—during the first week of every month!Check out the Future Candidate School December 5th and Campaign Management School October 3rd. >
Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner tells LI supporters:
Mikayla Hall
September 8, 2011
Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner tells LI supporters: "Politics is not a spectator sport"
Yesterday a crowd of 104 conservatives braved the early morning stormy weather to hear The Heritage Foundation's President Dr. Edwin J. Feulner speak at the Leadership Institute's monthly breakfast. “We need to work harder and smarter than our intellectual adversaries,” said Dr. Feulner. “We have a lot more tools today that we used to have, whether it is talk radio or the ability to reach out…through the Internet directly to people—the younger generation.”Deemed a “titan” in the conservative movement by LI President Morton Blackwell, Dr. Feulner reminded the audience of the importance of institutions like LI and The Heritage Foundation.Changing policies is not an easy task, but through the collaboration of think tanks and training facilities, it is possible. “That is one of the reasons,” Dr. Feulner said “why Morton and Helen should be so rightfully proud of the fact that [almost] 100,000 people have graduated from their schools now.”Click here to watch the full video of yesterday's breakfast.“You need institutions that are around that are going to outlast the politicians. You need to be able to say, ‘whether your name is Bob Michael or Newt Gingrich or John Boehner or Eric Cantor or Paul Ryan or whatever it is, there are places you can go to get the right kind of information. You need long term institutions.'”Dr. Feulner and Morton share the same philosophy: In order to be successful, the conservative movement has to add and multiply, not divide and subtract. To meet this goal, Dr. Feulner wants to target the younger generation.“We've got to convince the younger generation that we've got the right answers,” Dr. Feulner said. “We can do it. We can pass freedom on to the next generation, but the only way we'll do it is by…reinforcing and reinvigorating everything we believe in because politics is not a spectator sport.”To close on a positive note, Dr. Feulner gave the audience these parting words: “I think we will win, but in Washington there are no permanent victories. Never assume the other side is standing still.”The next Wake-Up Club Breakfast, scheduled for October 5, will feature Congressman Tim Huelskamp, a Republican from Kansas's 1st Congressional District. For more information and to RSVP, please go here. >
LI’s Youth Leadership School Welcomed New Mexico Lt. Governor
Lauren Hart
September 2, 2011
LI’s Youth Leadership School Welcomed New Mexico Lt. Governor
September 2, Arlington, VA—The Leadership Institute went out on the road again last weekend to train young conservatives at LI's flagship school, the Youth Leadership School, which advances political careers. Notable graduates of this training include: Senator Mitch McConnell; Iowa Governor Terry Branstad; Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist; Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips; Senator Jim DeMint's Speechwriter Amanda Carpenter; and Karl Rove, senior advisor to President George W. Bush, among others.LI trained 31 students in Albuquerque and had three top graduates who exemplified superior performance and engagement throughout the training.Santa Barbara City College student Poornima Wagh said, “The training was fantastic, very informative, detailed, and gave the complete A to Z of political training in just two days.”Washington and Lee University recent graduate Jordy Stern “loved the special projects presentation and learning how to write a press release.”LI's Youth Leadership School Coordinator Meghan Swella said, “Lt. Governor John Sanchez gave a summary Saturday morning of why conservative leadership is so important.” Meghan was touched when “he shared how he and his siblings made shoes out of cardboard.” Lt. Governor Sanchez encouraged students to “lean right” in the group picture.Meghan has high hopes for the YLS students. “I hope students use what they learned to impact the 2012 elections, especially since New Mexico is a swing state,” Meghan said.High School Senior Arinea Salas said, “I plan to use this training by participating in a youth effort for the upcoming 2012 elections, specifically Senator Jeff Bingaman's seat.” Chairman of the New Mexico Federation of College Republicans Krystalynn Wilkins said she would describe her training experience to others by “telling them it's pretty much all you need to know about youth involvement in campaigns in one weekend.”Executive Director of the Bernalillo County Republican Party Charles McMillian said that this is “the best training around” and he plans to use it “win in New Mexico!”Interested in bringing the Youth Leadership School to your area? Visit our website for a list of our upcoming trainings or contact Meghan Swella to bring the Youth Leadership School to your area. >
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