From the looks of it, Teresa Guzman Pagan appears to be just your typical Manhattanville College student. I met up with her in the Writing Center where she works helping students edit their papers and essays. Being just an acquaintance of mine from a class we took together my freshman year, I was surprised to hear from one of my roommates that Teresa had landed an internship with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. She says she applied the very night Clinton announced she was running. “I got really excited and then I said ‘oh my God I need to work for Hillary’ which I've been saying ever since I read her book”.
A Political Science and Communications major with a minor in World History, there’s no stopping Teresa as the end of her senior year approaches. Being an international student from the Dominican Republic people often ask why she cares so much about American politics. What they don’t know is her political inclination began there, where the political system is known to be corrupt and unsuccessful. She chose to move to the U.S. and began following American politics closely in 2012. Teresa believes the U.S. is a leading country that influences people worldwide.“ Being in a leadership position, specifically the president of the United States, is one of the most important jobs in the world.” She feels that Clinton is the best person for the job. “She is the most qualified candidate of all of them. She has been Secretary of State, so she has international and executive experience; she's been a senator so she has legislative experience, and she's been a first lady. ”
One of our mutual friends, Caroline Serrano Lafontant, a fellow senior, describes Teresa as “One of those people who, if she’s driven by a cause she puts her mind, soul and energy into it and I think it’s really cool to see her in her element.” Landing the dream internship took her to Miami for a month this past summer where she got to work fundraising, calling donors, working at events and being a seat filler for a speech Clinton had at FIU; she got to sit in the front row. “I was shaking with excitement; it was like watching a rockstar. I felt like a fourteen-year-old at a One Direction concert!” One low point she encountered during her time in Miami was realizing that expectations do not always become reality. She walked into the internship confidently and very well dressed, expecting an amazing office decorated with Hillary posters, screens with clips of her campaign, and girl power songs playing in the background. In reality, it was just an office with normal people dressed in jeans and tshirts. “It made me realize that I had glamorized political campaigns. I thought it was going to be this great, amazing operation when in reality it's like ten people in an office calling other people and trying really hard to make this woman president.” Only then did she realize how important her job really is and although she had to leave the internship early for school, Teresa is going to work with the campaign again in the spring, this time in Brooklyn.
Caroline Serrano Lafontant recalls what it was like doing homework with her. “Although we weren't taking the same classes we used to combine what we were studying and have crazy conversations. I'd talk about Communications, which she majors in as well, but she gives it her own twist which is politics and mine is film.” Teresa is a very passionate girl who is chasing a bright future. She adamantly assures me that she is going to get a job with the campaign in Brooklyn, which is in fact Hillary Clinton’s headquarters. I’m very grateful I got to know her a little bit better over this interview and can only expect to hear more and more amazing things from her. “I live for my career; I love politics”.