Government Relations & Lobbying
Government relations can offer some of the most rewarding careers if you are passionate about local, regional and national policies and issues. Your job will be to influence policy, legislation, regulations, or negotiations on behalf of interest groups, governments, industries, specific companies or other constituencies. Collectively, these activities are called “lobbying.” As issues facing government become more complicated, the work of lobbyists takes on increasing importance. Lobbying positions are influenced by the ebb and flow of politics, and by elections, which may change which party is in power. Successful lobbyists often have experience working directly for state or federal government agencies, and moving in and out of government usually increases marketability in both the public and private sectors.
There are very few purely international positions available, although lobbyists deal with many international issues. For example, you might represent a foreign government, a company with international trade concerns, or an advocacy group working on human rights. You could also find yourself advocating in favor of free trade agreements and other policies that affect international business.
If you are interested in a lobbying career, consider volunteering on a political campaign or interning on Capitol Hill, in a State House, or a local government agency. The contacts you’ll develop through volunteer work and the experience you’ll gain by analyzing issues and understanding government processes will be instrumental in launching your career.