By Cameron Morgan, Chattanooga, TN–Amidst his election as Student Government president last year, Robert Fisher was also notified of his acceptance to the Institute for Responsible
Citizenship’s summer Leadership Program in Washington D.C.
Fisher, a Clarksville, Tenn., junior, said the program consisted mostly of generating content for social media platforms in order to encourage advocacy for their mission to promote awareness about recent legislation concerning student loans and debt.
Yet, he also said the program was centrally focused on creating an environment for networking with professionals.
“The Institute for Responsible Citizenship is not all about politics,” Fisher said. “They stressed professional culture—how to network and cultivate relationships with people. Sometimes that meant meeting people in the private sector, like the Co-Founder of BET, and exposure to a lot of different job opportunities.”
In addition, Fisher also met former vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan in an impromptu meeting and President Obama. He described the latter meeting as a phenomenal experience to University Relations.
While networking on the hill, Fisher was also building strong ties with his fellow responsible citizens and leaders, like CPO for the Institute of Responsible Citizenship, John Saunders III.
“[Fisher] is an extremely hard worker who demonstrates a great passion for public service,” Saunders said. “I am certain that his participation in our program has prepared him to take on the rigors of leadership and service to others.”
Saunders also said he agrees the leadership opportunity which the Institute provided was essential for Fisher in building professional relationships.
“Robert received unparalleled leadership training,” Saunders said. “He met with some of Washington’s most influential leaders, took challenging coursework on constitutional principles and economics and was exposed to government and public policy through his internship at the Center for American Progress.”
Yet Fisher said in the midst of making all the connections with leaders, the skill he most valued was learning how to talk to people professionally and conversationally.
“I learned the importance of networking in today’s society, specifically cultivating professional relationships based around knowing one another well enough to provide expertise,” Fisher said. “I also learned how to convey a message that makes people understand your cause and motivates people. I don’t need a lot of coaching when it comes to tasks, yet when you’re working in a personal setting, some like to make it more of a conversation.”