Young Alumni Series: Jeremy Harrell

Today, DistrictGPS features the fifth and final part of a five part interview-series with TFAS alumni working in the DC area.

 Jeremy Harrell works for Rep. Michael R. Turner (Ohio), focusing on energy, environment, agriculture and natural resources issues. In addition, he assists the communications team with web 2.0 outreach. Prior to his work on Capitol Hill, Jeremy spent the 2008 election cycle working in 40 congressional districts throughout 21 states to elect Republicans to the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the “Where is the Red?” campaign.

Jeremy received a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. At Miami University Jeremy was active in the Associated Student Government, serving as vice president his senior year. He was also an active member of College Republicans and Model Arab League.  Jeremy attended ICPES in 2007 and is currently a 2010 TFAS Fellow.

Tell us a little bit about your current position; what is a typical day like for you?

I serve as a Legislative and Communications Assistant for Congressman Michael R. Turner (R-OH).  My position is pretty unique because I am in dual roles.  I advise Mr. Turner on agriculture, energy, trade, and health care policy and serve as his primary communications staffer in Washington, DC. 

These responsibilities range from making vote recommendations and pushing policy initiatives, to touting Mr. Turner’s legislative accomplishments to Ohio and national press. 

 What is your favorite part of your job?

I am originally from Cincinnati, so I really enjoy working for a Member of Congress from southwest Ohio. I get to deal with issues that face my local community and interact with people from my community on a day-to-day basis. It is nice to have a touch of home here in DC.   

How do you feel TFAS prepared you for the position you’re in now?

I wouldn’t be in Washington, DC without TFAS.  When I began ICPES in 2007, I was planning to apply to law school my senior year of college.  After getting to see all that DC has to offer through TFAS, talking to my professors and my mentor, and interacting with my fellow classmates, I decided I wanted to move to Washington and get involved in public policy. 

Beyond clarifying my career goals, TFAS also assisted in building the relationships I needed to get my initial job in Washington. 

Do you have any words of wisdom for current and potential TFAS students, whether about your career, DC, or the TFAS program?

I would encourage current and future students to make the most of their TFAS experience.  The whole schedule is designed to give you the best experience possible in a short amount of time. 

If I hadn’t come into the program with an open mind and the drive to make the most of every opportunity presented to me, I don’t think I would have had the experience that truly changed my career trajectory.

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