Rob Ghiano is participating in a dual-degree program at the University of Chicago to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Masters of Public Policy. During his time in Chicago, he has been involved with March for Our Lives and other grassroots political efforts. You can follow Rob on Twitter here: @rob_ghiano.
How long have you been interested in politics? Do you remember when you first decided you wanted to explore this career path?
Often while growing up there would be an adult-table and a kid-table for family gatherings. Like every child, I wanted in on the conversations at the adult-table. This meant I needed to learn more about the state of current affairs. I read The New York Times whenever I could so that when it was my turn to participate in adult-table conversations, I had an informed perspective. Soon, my adult-table conversations turned into real-world experiences. In the summer of 2016, I worked as an intern for a community and government relations firm in New York City. There, I had my real introduction to politics.
Tell us a little bit about your experience with the campaign thus far. What were some things you didn’t expect to learn but did anyways?
Almost all of the grassroots organizing and campaign experiences I have participated in have shown me that young people are much more capable than we often give ourselves credit for. Many of the people working on this campaign are “young,” yet we have, and will continue to have, success working together because of our collective energy and passion. I wouldn’t say that I am surprised by young people, but I am quite reflective of our progress.
You previously worked on a Gubernatorial campaign in New Jersey, how does that experience compare to working with Robert in IL-01?
A gubernatorial election in New Jersey is admittedly very different from a grassroots congressional campaign in Illinois. I had initially expected projects on this campaign to fall neatly into buckets and categories for certain groups to work on; I’ve come to realize that is never really the case with grassroots campaigns. A project that may start with the communications team may end up anywhere else. This campaign functions more like a series of components intertwined to make the collective move rather than the sum of individual parts. Every day on a grassroots campaign comes with new opportunities to work on projects I am passionate about across a variety of topics and fields.
What’s next after working with Robert? Any big plans?
After working with Robert, I hope to finish my Masters Degree and pursue a career that will continue introducing me to passionate people. While most of my experiences to this point have involved politics, I hope to explore further the many avenues of my interests.