Ohio Northern University professor Rob Alexander describes the national conventions as Disneyland for the political junkie. Next week, two West Central Ohio students will get to experience to excitement first hand.
"We'll probably run into a lot of influential people. We'll maybe get to see some of the ins and outs of the meetings and other things that go on at a convention," said John Willamowski Jr., a political science major from Lima.
"So, this will be kind of interesting to see what my future job could be. I could be doing these things these people are doing. I could be working alongside of them down there," said Shelby Core, a political science major from Wapakoneta.
Willamowski and Core are two of the eight ONU students attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa. A few weeks later, two other ONU students will head to Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention.
"They're going to rub elbows with some of the most powerful people in the world. That alone makes the world a smaller place for them and makes it much more attainable and gives them some inspiration to say this is something I can do myself," said Alexander.
The students will participate in the Washington Center's national convention seminars. That means they'll spend about a week attending guest lectures and learning about the political process. Then they'll spend a week interning at the convention.
Willamowski will work for the Ohio Republican Party.
"I mean we've seen it on tv a lot of times. That's something I've wanted to go to since I was little. So, it will be really interesting, and a lot of fun," said Willamowski.
Core will learn her assignment after traveling to Tampa.
"If I could have my ideal position it would be like working alongside a senator or something like that because that's what I hope to be like some day," said Core.
Both are just sophomores, but the experience could lead to future success.
"Four years ago several students gathered internships, and we've had a couple gain jobs as a result of their experiences in their two weeks at the conventions," said Alexander.