Trevor Shanklin, a Rogers State University senior from Nowata, Okla., returned from the Washington Center Internship with experience and skills that would earn him a job as the grassroots director for the Mark Wayne Mullen congressional campaign.
While in D.C., he interned at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), first in finance and then later in the political department. There he tracked candidates from across the country, assisted with donor meetings and contributed to projects for numerous political directors.
"The Washington Center Internship completely set me up for what I am doing now," Shanklin said. "The skills I learned from working for the NRCC are invaluable."
Campaign management, public relations, blogging and new media are just a few of the workshops and training courses that Shanklin participated in during his time as an intern.
"One of the most important things I learned was to jump out there and be aggressive," Shaklin said. "Asking to do things is helpful and people appreciate that you are eager and willing to learn. Don't sit back and wait for something to happen, you should go out and make it happen."
During his time at RSU, the Political Science major has been involved in numerous different organizations. He is a member of Young Americans for Freedom, College Republicans, the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature, and the Student Veterans Association and has acted as a senator for the Student Government Association.
He served as a combat medic in the 1/279 Infantry Battalion when they deployed to Iraq in 2008. Before his deployment he was an active duty member (AGR) where he served as a Recruiting and Retention NCO throughout Northeast Oklahoma.
Shanklin is now fully immersed in the political scene, but it wasn't always this way.
"Just a year ago I was a machinist in Nowata and politics was something I did in my spare time. When RSU gave me the opportunity to go to Washington D.C. to do this internship, my dream of working in politics became a reality," the 27-year-old said. "I was able to meet Ron Paul, Steve Scully, Herman Cain, Jimmy Carter and numerous other influential figures in the political realm."
Shanklin plans to take the fall semester off to focus his full attention on the campaign. After that, he hopes to finish his degree and eventually move to Washington, D.C. to work in politics.
"If it wasn't for the internship, I would have never known this was out there and I wouldn't have known how to get myself involved in this exciting campaign," Shanklin said. "My time in Washington is the reason I was able to become the grassroots director for the Mark Wayne Mullen congressional campaign."