AU graduate working in the White House

Fri, 2010-08-13 08:00 -- univcomm
August 13, 2010

Three years ago Amanda Scott was just like any other Anderson University senior, unsure of what her future might hold after graduation. She would have never guessed that three years later she would be working with the most powerful man in the United States, President Barack Obama.

scott-whScott, a 2007 Anderson University graduate, is working in the White House for United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk, who is a member of President Obama’s cabinet and serves as spokesperson and negotiator on trade issues in the current Administration. [Photo on left: Scott in front of the White House.]

Scott uses her hands-on experience from marketing and public relations classes taken at AU to work as a new media coordinator. She helps to provide the administration’s message on trade to the public, domestically and internationally through online outlets.

“This Administration has been very open about creating a transparent Government that focuses on bringing news and information directly to the American people through various forms of technology, such as social networks,” said Scott. “I serve on a team of Web managers who are working to make federal government more transparent, participatory and collaborative.

Besides attending White House events with the President and giving personal tours of the West Wing and Oval Office, Scott enjoys the personal indulgence of knowing she is helping people. “I always wanted to go into work and do something that let me feel like I was giving back to a community,” said Scott about working with trade polices that help the American economy and help people be more involved in the government. “I feel like I'm doing something that is actually making a difference.”

Scott’s first job after graduating in 2007 was for a small non-profit called Horizon International—an organization dedicated to providing basic needs to AIDS orphans in four different counties in Africa. Scott was the communications coordinator. She put together the newsletters, promotional materials and created a communications strategy for Horizon. [Photo on right: Scott with President Barack Obama on the South Lawn of the White House at a staff picnic, Fall 2009.]

Scott joined the Obama campaign in January 2008 as a volunteer for the Ohio primary new media team. Her focus was on organizing new media for specific states to get supporters to vote. Scott covered then-Senator Obama’s events throughout the state. Besides the blog, the team did online organizing through external social networks, as well as through the campaign social network, mybarackobama.com (known as myBO). Scott wrote volunteer profiles and supported get-out-the-vote efforts to get people to the polls on Election Day.

After Ohio, Scott went to Pennsylvania as a paid staff member of the campaign to continue to do state-level new media. She was based in Philadelphia for two months. After the Pennsylvania Primary, Scott went to Indiana for a few weeks before heading to Chicago, the campaign headquarters, to join the national blog team for the general presidential election.

scott-eisenhowerDuring the general election campaign, Scott shifted into the position of managing the national blog operation. [Photo on left: Scott in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.]

Scott’s road to the White House started with her volunteering during the Ohio primary. She suggests the same for anyone looking to get into political work. “When people see that you're passionate about something and you're willing to get involved, they're going to pay attention,” said Scott about acquiring her high profile position. “The contacts you will make help you enormously. A lot of getting your start in this political realm is by knowing people.”

- Aaron Vogel is a 2010 Anderson University graduate. Vogel majored in communication arts and minored in marketing and was an associate with Fifth Street Communications writing on behalf of Anderson University Office of University Communications.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the sixth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.