As students scramble to find summer internships, Shoshana Weissmann is entering hundreds of jobs and internships into a web bank for young Republicans.
Weissmann, a sophomore, is the co-founder of Network Red, a database that helps D.C. Republicans find jobs and internships working on campaigns or for Congress, news organizations, conservative think tanks or interest groups like the Heritage Foundation and the National Rifle Association.
Now the deputy political director of volunteer coordination for the Casale Group, a political consulting firm, Weissmann worked on several campaigns last year, including that of Frank Scaturro for Congress, Wendy Long for U.S. Senate and Mitt Romney for president.
“There’s a lot of resources out there, but I don’t think that people are finding positions in the way they should,” Weissmann said. “And that’s not their fault – nobody knows how to do it until you’re already in politics. And that’s what we’re trying to help people with.”
Network Red started off as a listserv Weissmann created last year entitled “GOP in D.C.,” which aimed to direct her D.C. friends toward internships and volunteer opportunities. As the list expanded, Weissmann, along with her friend, junior Elie Litvin, created a new title and decided it would be easier to navigate and more organized as a website, NetworkingRed.com.
As the other co-founder, Litvin said it was important to create a resource that assembled young, politically right-leaning minds to better assist the party.
“We are filling a vacuum for a centralized hub that is tailored exclusively towards connecting people with Republican-specific opportunities in the D.C. area,” Litvin said.
Litvin, who served as a Russian interpreter for Romney’s gubernatorial race, uses his connections to find opportunities and to help employers find young, fresh minds.
Having worked on the Scott Brown for Senate campaign’s consulting team in 2009 and for the Romney campaign this past election cycle at digital consulting firm Targeted Victory.
“Being a Republican from Massachusetts is like boot camp for a conservative. It really forces you to think outside the box and be innovative in politics,” Litvin said.
With 300 website viewers monthly three months in, Weissmann and Litvin plan to expand the site by offering a resume bank, creating an advisory board and launching a blog within the next few months.
Weissmann said her experience in politics has taught her not to burn bridges, a lesson she aims to illustrate through the networking venture.
“I started Network Red to help people, and I want to give people a chance to do stuff I’ve done and stuff I haven’t been able to do. The best way to help the party – help our ideology – is to help each other,” she said.