Gaining insight: Students learn about valuable skills

Liberty University students learned more about future government job opportunities through Project 2025 at a Careers in the Executive Branch event March 18.

The event was co-hosted by the Leadership Institute and the Heritage Foundation and coordinated on campus by Vice-Provost for Engagement and Public Relations Dave Brat, Special Projects and Events Coordinator Gian Castillo and Executive Event Coordinator Christy Murphy.

Speakers at the event included Deputy Director of Professional Services at Leadership Institute Christopher Hayes, Associate Director of Heritage Foundation’s 2025 Presidential Transition Project Spencer Chretien and former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline.

Hayes began the event by giving students insight into how to put their best professional foot forward, from forming a well-crafted resume and cover letter to exuding professionalism and confidence when networking.

Photo by Kristina Smith

“Be kind and be competent,” Hayes said. “There’s no version of incompetence that is professional.”

Hayes said he hoped that students were encouraged to keep pursuing a political career if they’re passionate about it, even if it seems overwhelming at the time.

“Don’t quit,” Hayes said. “Keep going, even when you feel like it’s not good yet. Just keep working.”

Chretien then spoke about Project 2025 and how students can get involved with the organization. He also talked about Project 2025’s alliances with other organizations, such as Alliance Defending Freedom and Liberty University. Chretien mentioned that while there may be policy differences between the different alliance organizations, they are all passionate about bringing success to conservative values.

“The big thing where we’re united is our desire to deliver success to the next conservative president,” Chretien said.

Photo by Kristina Smith

Chretien also reminded students that taking part in hands-on training in the conservative movement is invaluable and even necessary before taking on a major government job.

“If you show up to Washington to work, there’s no owner’s manual sitting on your desk,” Chretien said. “There’s a lot of things that you’re not going to know.”

According to Chretien, Project 2025 seeks to equip young conservatives before they take on government roles through the Presidential Administration Academy, which provides interactive trainings, videos and quizzes for prospective political appointees.

Kline spoke to students about the importance of being hardworking and earnest in politics, especially as a Christian.

“It’s going to take you to speak up and get engaged to turn this ship back to the right direction,” Kline said. “Right now, your freedoms are getting traded away like stock shares.”

Photo by Kristina Smith

Kline’s daughter, Jacqueline Timmer, also spoke briefly to students. Timmer is currently running for Lynchburg City Council and invited students to sign up to volunteer on her campaign.

Liberty sophomore Silas Pearson enjoyed the professional insight that he gained from the event.

“I’m very thankful for opportunities like this one where we are given professional insight into how to succeed in the highest levels of leadership from those who have gone through the same trials,” Pearson said. 

For more information on Leadership Institute, visit their website. For more information on The Heritage Foundation, visit this website

Smith is the news editor for the Liberty Champion. Follow her on X

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