Walking around the city of Tampa, I was slightly concerned. A city similar in structure to Boston, complete with tall skyscraper businesses, museums on every corner and tons of mom and pop restaurants, one would expect it to be bustling, especially with the events about to unfold next week. But it was the exact opposite: completely desolate. Businesses are closed down, construction crews all over, street blockades on every corner. It makes sense; we need to prepare, even though the convention is a week away!
Secret Service has to screen all surrounding businesses and perimeter the area to ensure security. Even we had to be pre-screened as interns. However, despite the desolation, I’ve never felt more like a celebrity. Restaurants are giving us discounts for participating in the convention; I’ve met more FL government officials than I can dream of meeting any old day in MA; we even already had a formal reception in a closed down museum, just for our arrival here! It’s truly been an experience, already.
The TWC has their training plans in line; we are required to do a lot of academic work to prepare for the convention, as well as the fieldwork placement. I’ve already learned so much today, and it’s only part 1 of orientation! The required book I love already, so much that I feel everyone should read it. Its called “The Road To The White House” by Stephen J. Wayne. I included a link at the bottom. It really details a lot into what to expect these coming months with this campaign and election period, and it’s really pertinent to my work here and what I am going to expect to be addressed.
We learned new skills I thought I’d never learn today, as well. For example, we had to learn to appropriately and efficiently conduct interviews with media. Media! Like CNN, the New York Times and FOX news! Imagine, sitting in an auditorium, thinking you’re merely being prepped on how to present yourself in a conduct that well represents the company and your school, and they just spring on you that there’s a strong likelihood (apparently a 90% chance) you will be approached and interviewed by national media. If you’re like me, your jaw will drop to your knees. The skills I will learn and what I hope to take away from this is unreal.