STU breeds political animals

Breanna Redden-Kelly’s boyfriend’s appendix burst the same day the writ was dropped.

“I was sitting in the emergency room with him and I looked up at the clock and I was like ‘oh well, there it is, the election has started’.”

Redden-Kelly began volunteering for the Liberal party right after graduating from St. Thomas University and now she is the office manager for Cathy Rogers, the Liberal candidate for Moncton-South.

A few months ago, if you asked Redden-Kelly if she would ever run for office, she would have been quick to say yes. Now, she would have to stop and think about it.

Alumni“Now I realize people who go into politics make a huge sacrifice. And it’s not that I didn’t know that  before, it’s just that I didn’t fully grasp it. Because I’m thinking, I’m just helping. Imagine if I was actually running and this happened.”

The recent graduate of St. Thomas University jumped right into politics after graduating in May 2014, and hasn’t stopped.

“Basically my whole life surrounds around September 22. And right now it feels a little like you’re going to live and die with the election.”

Redden-Kelly said it’s hard to find a balance between work and her social life, even though she loves it.

“It’s exciting and non-stop all the time. It isn’t one of those jobs where you can go home and turn off your phone and be done for the day. It’s really exciting and I enjoy doing it but it’s definitely like you’re in fourth-year final exam stress mode the entire time.”

Redden-Kelly is one of the many alumni working on the provincial election campaigns in New Brunswick this September. And like Redden-Kelly, they are enjoying the rush, the excitement and are busier than during fourth-year exam period.

It was when 2011 journalism grad Danie Pitre was a student that she made connections to the New Democratic Party. She is now running for MLA with the party in Riverview.

Pitre said this is the first time she is running for office.

“It’s a much different role when you go from behind the scenes to being the face of the party. You learn a whole other set of skills and you get to meet more people. There are responsibilities that come with it but it’s definitely far more exciting when you get to be basically a spokesperson for the party.”

Devika Dadhe never thought she would work in politics. After graduating in 2011 with a communications major, she worked a few odd jobs before taking a job as the administrative assistant for the leader of the New Democratic Party. She was quickly promoted to director of communications.

“It’s a great job and recently I’ve had the pleasure of director of organization for the last few months. There is a lot of opportunity for growth when you major in something like communications because it is such a vast subject.”

Dahe said working in politics there is constant excitement around, especially when it’s an election year, and you’re constantly meeting new people.

“It’s certainly a good way to make yourself known and step outside of your comfort zone.”

Dahe said she really enjoyed the internship that was part of the communications program at St. Thomas.

“The encouragement that I got from professors and my mentors from STU is what pushed me to pursue politics further and hence why I’ve been in politics for the last two years now,” she said.

Dahe said she hopes to continue to work in the political field, and said she has learned as much about herself as she has about the job.

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