My CCIL Summer Fellowship

My CCIL Summer Fellowship

Summer fellow Mike Wiley explains what made his experience working for Common Cause unique

All I knew was that I wanted to do an internship this summer.

        Frankly, it didn’t even have to be a good one. Prerequisites included (but were not limited to): a real office with real chairs and desks and computers and a real office dress code. I had spent the last four summers scrubbing dishes, bussing tables and washing cars all over St. Louis for minimum wage, and I was ready for something different. A real desk job.

        I got all that and more with Common Cause IL. After finding their name listed on my school’s internship database, I did some research and was excited by how closely their issues aligned with my interests. I have always been passionate about getting money out of politics, and they have too. They’ve been on the forefront of fighting voter suppression and making sure that the people in power are held accountable for their actions. That’s why the first application I sent out was to them.

        I’m happy to say that this summer has been more than adding lines to my resume. I lobbied for bills at the state capitol. I shook hands with Rev. Jesse Jackson and Sen. Dick Durbin. I learned a lot about my elected officials by researching legislation and campaign finance data. I watched Automatic Voter Registration pass the Illinois legislature with unanimous support from both parties, and I felt that I had (in some small way) helped to improve our democracy.

        But, hey, there’s nothing wrong with adding lines to a resume. Mine was pretty bad, if I’m being honest. Thankfully, my boss took the time to have a resume workshop for all the fellows. Not only did he provide his own comments, but we also gave each other feedback. He encouraged us to create and update our LinkedIn accounts. He told me that my fellowship should be all about meeting new people and building a network for the future.

        This fellowship was my transition into the professional world, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I woke up every morning excited to go into the office and work on my project for that day. I’ll miss the people I worked with. Even though my fellowship is coming to an end, I’m excited about how I can contribute to Common Cause in the future.

Interested applicants should submit a current resume to