At Oberlin, León Pescador ’18 majored in politics and East Asian studies. Since graduating last May, Pescador has been working on political campaigns. Currently, he is the finance director for Dan Helmer’s campaign for Virginia’s 40th House of Delegates district.
What interests did you pursue during your time at Oberlin?
I’ve always had an interest in international events and cultures. I made learning a new language a goal during my sophomore year, which is why I ended up studying Chinese. Beyond classes, I spent time building events for Student Senate and reviewing club budgets in the Student Finance Committee. It was a busy mix, but it prepared me well to take a job with a demanding work schedule after graduation.
What has it been like to work on the Helmer campaign?
Every day is a hustle, but I’m grateful for the challenge that comes with it. I’ve learned that it’s a marathon and an obstacle course at the same time. The work isn’t always fun, but there’s a sense of satisfaction that comes when your candidate can get a big donor on the phone and then get to watch your donation tracker shoot up. It’s also gratifying when you can set a fundraising record in your first quarter.
Do you have any advice for Oberlin students who might be interested in campaign work?
You should seek opportunities that give you experience and will allow you to deliver substantive results. The key is being flexible and adaptable while maintaining the mental resilience to outlast the pace of the campaign and surpass your goals. Don’t be afraid to start off as a volunteer and work hard on relatively unexciting tasks to prove your commitment to the organization. Campaigns and political offices are small, so hard work gets recognized.
In the future, Pescador hopes to contribute to reinvestment in American institutions by engaging in the political process. He plans to support leaders who share the instinct to work hard in order to improve the welfare of their communities.
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