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Advocacy.  Lobbying.  What is it?  Do I believe in it?  Is it something I could do?  Is it something I would want to do?

I’ve been spending some free time this summer researching different possibilities for after Gettysburg.  There are internships, fellowships, master’s programs, and of course the job market.  I’ve surveyed a large variety of opportunities in many different areas and one thing I’ve seen is advocacy, principally environmental advocacy.  But I’m skeptical.  I’m skeptical because when I hear “advocacy” I am reminded of student organizations here at Gettysburg.  And when I consider the involvement, activism, and success of our campus clubs I’m not exactly thrilled.

So this is what I want to figure out: what is advocacy, how does it work, and where does it fit into the larger picture?  Obviously advocacy means generating awareness and promoting a topic, but what all does that entail.  And then of course there are other questions.  Where does the funding come from?  Who are we trying to convince?  Do I believe in the cause I’m selling?

I’m not sure what I think of advocacy.  I’m sure several alumni are working in the environmental advocacy field and I’m going to try to get in contact with some of them.  My gut feeling is that it is not something I would want to do myself, but is definitely important to understand.  Perhaps working as an advocate might be a good short-term opportunity in a longer career path.

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