Matthew Wu: Political Fundraising Internship

My Devlin/Ching Grant was used to fund part of my housing and transportation costs while interning with the Gavin for Governor campaign in Los Angeles, California this summer. Along with two other finance interns, I worked under the fundraising coordinator and assistant to develop and execute strategies in order to reach monthly fundraising goals.

I learned a lot during this 12-week internship, in part because this overarching goal required a huge variance in the daily tasks to be completed- from researching potential donors to ordering cocktail table rentals, from the administrative work accompanying a political contribution to the grunt work of fixing a mobile hotspot for the campaign bus. In short, I was expected to do everything necessary to help my superiors achieve the goals set for us.

Another positive consequence of my time with the Gavin campaign is the number of connections and references I have developed. I made time to meet with each staff member of the LA office individually, and impress upon them the extent of my ambition and the drive I have to reach my goals. As a result, I have developed connections which I hope will help me secure a similar internship next summer, as well as a position after I graduate.

The Devlin/Ching Grant helped make this summer of growth and development possible. Without it, either I would not have been able to afford the experience, or I would have had to work for pay even more than I did (I partially supported myself by delivering for Postmates and walking dogs for Wag). Either of these options would have limited my achievements this summer.

At times my tasks piled on top of one another as if there were ten of me to do them, while in reality there was only one. However, as I have seen with my time at Tulane University, the times when there was much to do and little time to do it were also the times in which I learned the most. A large part of the political process is holding your own under pressure, and this summer I learned how to do so- in part thanks to my Devlin/Ching grant.

(The photo includes) me along with my two fellow finance interns, Zachary (left) and Philip (right). In the background is the “Team Gavin” sign, which is signed by every staff member and intern who spends time with the Gavin campaign.

Written by Matthew Wu, recipient of a combined Ching Grant and Katherine and Robert M. Devlin ’64 Internship Program Grant, 2018