April 23, 2020
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You couldn’t blame Matthew Metz '13 for feeling like an old pol even before he graduated. Kenyon faculty, alumni, and the Career Development Office all played a role in helping Metz gain a wealth of political experience outside the classroom.
His dense resume, compiled in college, helped the Vermont native land a full-time job this summer as a campus organizer for the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). He will be on college campuses helping to educate and mobilize students.
“I’ve had some awesome experiences already, and have no doubt that half of them never would have happened without the resources and guidance from Kenyon faculty and staff,” he said. “They encouraged real-world practice to complement the classroom.”
The resume-building included an externship shadowing staffers in the office of U.S. Congressman Steven Israel (D-NY) and two Washington, D.C., summer internships: working for the Democratic National Committee on the 2012 Obama campaign, and most recently in the White House for the Office of Management and Administration. “To be behind the scenes at the White House was a mind-blowing experience,” Metz said.
He learned about the opportunities through the Career Development Office and credited the support from professors such as John Elliott, Pamela Camerra-Rowe, and David Leibowitz in the political science department for helping him with the arduous application process for his internships.
Jack Pratt ’98, Chief of Staff for Congressman Israel, paved the way for his externship. “I emailed Mr. Pratt and made the connection. He gave me a wonderful opportunity to get inside the life of a Congressional staffer. I’ve talked to friends at other schools and none of them had an externship program like Kenyon’s."
During his academic career at Kenyon, Metz was active in Kenyon Democrats and Knox County Democrats, working on local and state issues, and was elected to serve as a delegate from Vermont for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, where he cast one of his state’s 27 votes for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
It’s no coincidence that he landed his new job when he was recruited by former classmate, Elizabeth Himeles ’12, a campus organizer for PIRG in Indiana. “I’m looking to go back to graduate school and interested in running for office in my home state, but I thought this would be an important, issue-oriented experience until then that would build my skills. Every experience I’ve had at Kenyon enabled me to learn about different aspects of political life and completely reaffirmed my decision to run for office someday. “