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Josh Cohen shares how Washington really works

Photo by William Craine.

A small group of Bradley students and professors gathered in Bradley Hall Wednesday evening to hear political consultant and Bradley alumnus Josh Cohen share his career experiences.

Cohen, who currently serves as a principal at New Heights Communications, discussed stories from his time working on campaigns and how Bradley students can begin a career in politics. He spent a large part of the hour answering student questions.

“I learned a lot tonight,” senior political science major Zachary Nolan said. “For me as a political science major, it was very informative to learn how the specific classes we are taking while at Bradley have real life application later on down the road in our determined careers.”

While the audience enjoyed pizza and cookies, Cohen discussed his predictions for future elections and how politics work today. He told students that politics is not only who you know, but what you know.

“If you want to work in politics … it’s important to get out into the field and get real life, real world experience. And it’s also important to understand the mechanics of different departments,” Cohen said. “Hopefully, I was able to instill a little bit of direction or at least show students that there is a way to practice politics. I was just hoping to shed a little bit of light on how campaigns are run and how students might be able to get a little bit more involved in helping shape their future.”

Cohen graduated in 2005, and this was his first time back on campus since graduation. He came to visit the Hillel House and decided to reach out to his former political science professor Craig Curtis.

“Like a lot of our alumni, he’s interested in giving back,” Curtis said. “We want to have our students have the opportunity to interact with alumni who are working in their field. Those students who want to do this kind of work have a chance to talk with someone who does it for a living and has been successful.”

Cohen has worked for Sen. Dick Durbin, at the Democratic Senate Campaign committee, at Service Employees International Union and on the Obama Campaign with the Democratic National Committee. He talked with students who are looking to go into consulting and who are already working on campaigns.

“My favorite part was Josh’s insight,” sophomore political science major Wesley Bounds said. “He helped shed light to a field in politics that doesn’t get as much publicity as other fields in the arena. Events like these allow us to experience and learn about careers we’ve not known too much about and allow us to connect with someone in the field.”

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