Brendan Stannard ’25

Committee to Elect Timothy J. Shugrue for Berkshire County District Attorney, Pittsfield, MA

This summer, I worked on Timothy J. Shugrue’s campaign for Berkshire County District Attorney. My work was divided into two separate paths: ‘fieldwork’ with the candidate and data entry through Google slides and a software program named VoteBuilder. When I left at the end of the summer, the election was still a few weeks away, as the Democratic primary is slated for September 6, 2022.

The fieldwork centered on going to community events and fundraisers and getting Tim’s message out there. Having a real conversation with voters was an amazing experience. I noticed as the summer went on, and the more people I talked to, the more my confidence grew. I became a better communicator, listening more and conveying Tim’s ideas and policies in a more efficient way. The work truly did wonders for my social skills.

Although I enjoyed the fieldwork more than the data entry, the argument could be made that the data entry portion of my internship was more significant. Using information given to me from the team, I was able to compile lists of voters who were either strong for us, strong for the current district attorney, or in the middle. By creating these spreadsheets, I streamlined the process of distributing lawn signs, cards and letter locations for the other members of the team.

When I was offered the position, I was initially hesitant. I always told myself that I would never get involved in politics, as I was convinced politics divided countries, communities and friends. But I decided that it would be good to step out of my comfort zone to try something new. I’m glad I made the decision to take this internship. I learned so much about the politics of my community and how they affect people’s everyday lives. I’ve learned what it’s like to canvas for unfamiliar neighborhoods and how to efficiently distribute tasks. I’ve learned what it takes to be successful in the political field.

My schedule for the upcoming year may see a significant uptick in political science courses, as I’ve yet to take one, and would love to dive into the department at Williams. In terms of grad school, the likelihood of going has skyrocketed after this internship. I hope to do another internship similar to this one next summer, possibly in a different city such as Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, or Boston.

I’d like to thank the Estate of George Mead for giving me the opportunity to pursue my goals through this internship. I am forever grateful. I’d also like to thank the ’68 Center for all the help they have provided over the last few months. A few more thank-you’s go out to Deb Guachione, Tim Shugrue, Joann Shugrue and Glenn Guachione for their tremendous support and kindness throughout this internship. It was truly a great experience.