“I met Tommy during the Fall 2015 semester while I was a student at the University of Arkansas. I knew that I wanted to work in Washington, D.C., but had no idea where to start. Tommy hosted a video conference call at the university and I emailed him after to see how he could help. He took the time to read through my resume and suggest improvements. My resume was complicated and had multiple pages! After a few redrafts, my resume looked clean, professional, and had succinct points. We spoke on the phone and Tommy was great at listening to my concerns and gave great advice. I respect Tommy a lot because he was willing to share his own mistakes to help me understand what it took to get to D.C.
Fast-forward to today and I can’t begin to explain the many ways in which Tommy and D.C. Hopefuls has had a positive influence on my life and career. Tommy has been a consistent coach advocating for me, and has connected me with so many great individuals.
In October 2017, I started a full-time position in Washington, D.C. and I have no doubts as to how it happened: it all leads back to Tommy and D.C. Hopefuls. I am now well on the road to building my career and Tommy helped me every step of the way with networking, resumes, advice, and much more! If you are looking to take that first step towards a career in our nation’s capital, you need to join D.C. Hopefuls and I promise that you won’t regret it!”
Communications Associate at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni
“After making the decision to not apply for law school like many of my political science peers, I was confident that I would be able to build a political career on my own. I had made a lot of good moves during my college career. I had an internship, volunteered, and met with on-campus career advisors. But the one thing I hadn’t done, like many students, was network with people in the field I wanted to work in. I saw the results of this failure after graduation when I had sent out countless resumes, but was only was called for one interview. Long story short, I did not get called back for a second interview.
I reached a point a few weeks after graduation where I was depressed, frustrated, and was questioning my entire career plan. I racked my brain for ideas on what I could do, and decided to email a UofA alumnus who had come to campus two months prior to speak about searching for careers in D.C—Tommy Pevehouse.
Tommy responded to my email within 24 hours, and he immediately asked if I wanted to schedule a time to discuss my career plans. He spent an hour on the phone with me, helping me to narrow down what career I wanted—which turned out to be campaigning. He also took the time to look over my resume before he connected me with someone who was currently working on a campaign. Within 48 hours of our phone call, I got an email from the campaign he connected me with for a first round interview. He kept up with me over email on my progress, and was always available if I had any questions. After five weeks since our initial phone call, Tommy had coached me through several job applications which ultimately led to three job offers. Without him, I would not have even been aware there were campaign staff openings so late in the campaign season. Now I was at the point where I had power over my career and could choose which job to take. Tommy was there for me when I didn’t even know where to begin in my career search, and he was there for me when I was deciding on which job offer to take. If I could change one thing about my experience searching for my first post-graduation job, I would have emailed Tommy/D.C. Hopefuls much sooner. My experience with Tommy taught me the importance of always asking for help when you need it, and that networking is one of the most important skills to have in today’s competitive job market.”
Baylor Law School
“It took me almost 3 years and 4 major changes to figure out what exactly I wanted to do in life. In January of 2016, I made the switch to political science and I fell in love. I didn’t realize how close I was to graduating, and soon enough, I ended up in my 2nd to last semester with no experience and no idea where a post undergrad world would take me.
As you’ve probably learned by this point, Tommy takes time out of his life to fly back to the U of A and teach a seminar on resume building and networking. I strongly urge everyone to go to his seminar, and TAKE NOTES. It was a game changer for me. Soon after his seminar, I reached out to him. He was quick to respond and more than incredibly willing to help. Throughout a long course of email chains and over an hour long phone call, Tommy had managed to help me build a resume from scratch, figure out exactly what I want to do, and start networking.
Forming a relationship with Tommy will pay off. He wants to help, and he will make a difference. He has already impacted my life and career aspirations in a way that can never be repaid. Reach out to Tommy, or any DC Hopeful, and it will pay off for you too.”
LC Senator Tom Cotton (AR)
“It is not too strong to say Tommy taught me most of what I know about politics and networking. I had the great pleasure of interning for him in 2013 for Terry McAuliffe’s governor’s race and serving as his staging location director. As a field organizer, he was exceptionally patient and instructive with me – always explaining why he had made the decisions he did rather than simply handing down a verdict. It was this learning process that enabled me to become a field organizer myself and it was his example that I drew upon when supervising my own interns.
In the intervening years since I worked with him, Tommy has proved to be an exceptional mentor and friend. After the gubernatorial race was over, he set aside time to help me craft my resume. When I was offered an unpaid fellowship this past Spring on Hillary Clinton’s campaign (and felt I had been sold short), Tom was my first call and it was his counsel that led me to a field organizer position in Florida.
As his reader, I am sure you will benefit from Tommy’s insight much the same as I have. He is an invaluable resource and a generous human being.”
Field Organizer, Clinton Presidential Campaign
“I always knew I wanted to move to Washington DC after graduation, but I didn’t know where to begin. I didn’t know anyone in DC and I wasn’t able to ever be a summer intern the Hill, so I was blindly applying to any job I could find posted on the internet. In October 2015, I received an email about an Arkansas Alum who was making a trip back to Fayetteville to discuss job searching in DC. I was thrilled to get this opportunity to speak with someone who graduated with the same major as I did and learn how he made it in Washington, so I immediately RSVP’d and counted down the days to meet Tommy Pevehouse. Unfortunately, his flight was delayed and he never made it to Fayetteville, but we were told we could email him if we still wanted to ask questions.
So I emailed him right away and we set up a phone call. We talked for nearly two hours. I was blown away by Tommy’s sincere passion and drive to help other Arkansans become successful and not make the same mistakes he did. As I listened to his story, I realized I was making many mistakes and needed to reroute my job searching game plan. Tommy reviewed my resume and his edits were vast, but much appreciated. I was obviously a little embarrassed when he returned my resume with the opening line of the email saying, “Don’t be discouraged by all the red marks…” My resume needed work, but more importantly Tommy expressed to me the importance of networking and having a community of people who are willing to help you along the way.
As graduation approached, I was offered a job in Little Rock and a paid internship in Washington, DC. I was torn between picking a steady job in Arkansas and a temporary internship in my dream city. I received advice was friends and family, but I knew I needed to reach out to Tommy and get his expert opinion. He encouraged me to move to DC for multiple reasons and I knew he was right. Three weeks after graduation I was living in our nation’s capital. Since moving here, I have continued to meet with Tommy and others like him from many different organizations and agencies. Making the initial move to DC for an internship was the best possible decision I could have made as recent graduate. At the end of my internship, I was offered a full time position working in government affairs with my organization where I continue to gain valuable experience. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to interview and meet employees from every agency that I hope to work for in the future. These opportunities would not have been possible if I had stayed in Arkansas and I can thank Tommy for motivating me to make the frightening journey to a big, new city. Tommy has been a trusted mentor of mine for over a year and I highly recommend him to anyone seeking career advice.”
Staff Assistant, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
“Tommy has been instrumental in my job preparation. Having him guide me through the D.C. jungle proved essential. Tommy has been through the Washington job process and is more than willing to pass on his experience. Any individual actively pursuing a career in D.C. knows how competitive it is, which is why since 2015 he has given me great insight on everything from my resume to my elevator-pitch. Interested in working in D.C.? You’re in the right place. Working with Tommy has allowed me to carry myself higher, network with more people than I ever expected, and gain valuable job experience.
It is important to professionally set yourself apart from your competition; Tommy has helped me mature into a more competitive job candidate. Yes, a clean resume helps, but its what’s under the hood that counts the most. Tommy understands this and prioritizes you over your job. His knowledge of the D.C. job-jungle, personability, and desire to help has created a community built on D.C. knowledge and collaboration. If you have been bitten by the D.C. bug, join us here at D.C. Hopefuls.”
I can’t wait to see what’s next!
University of Arkansas, Chemical Engineering
“If you’ve stumbled on this page, you’re in luck. Working with Tommy on networking, career advice, and life in Washington DC has been an indispensably formative aspect of post-college life for me.
I graduated from the University of Arkansas in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Latin American Studies. I remember going for a beer with my dad after the ceremony, reminiscing about the experiences and decisions that had gotten me to where I was. My dad is an engineer, which if any of you have engineering buddies then you know that their careers—along with a five to six figure salary—are lined up 6 months before graduation, so he was really interested in what kind of a career I would make out of a liberal arts degree. And to be honest, so was I. I had an internship lined up in Washington, D.C. for the fall and my idea was that Washington would surely hold a bright future for a capable, degree holding kid like myself.
When I got to DC I quickly realized that while there were many opportunities in the city, networking was going to be key to getting in front of a potential employer for an interview. I met Tommy at a UA networking/football watch party and right from the start he went out of his way to help guide me through the job search in DC, connecting me with a number of friends and other Arkansas Alumni.
Through Tommy’s insight and encouragement I was able to secure a paid internship the following term as well as better understand what I want to do with my career. Tommy is an extremely thoughtful, self-aware, and motivating mentor. He encourages you to be a part of the conversation, recognizing that he doesn’t have all of the answers; that starting a career in DC, and in general, requires all of us to give support as well as ask for it. I encourage you to read this blog and become a part of the networking community that Tommy has started. Thanks again for all of your help Tommy! I look forward to continuing to learn and grow from you and the other mentors and young professionals who are a part of this group!”
English Fellow with Colombia Bilingüe English Initiative
“I met Tommy in 2013 when I interned for him on a gubernatorial race in Charlottesville, VA while I was at UVA. He pushed the interns on that campaign to commit serious time to the job, creating an amazing learning environment. He also invested his limited time in giving us advice, reviewing our resumes, and getting to know us as people.
When l moved to D.C. this past summer, I met with Tommy to discuss my interest in working on another campaign. Tommy not only passed my resume along to a connection that helped me get the job, but he also gave excellent advice throughout the interview process and about what to do once I got here. I’m very grateful for Tommy’s help in finding my current job, as well as his valuable advice about networking for the future.”
-Sarah Jackson Smith
Field Organizer Clinton Presidential Campaign
“I graduated in May of 2015 and immediately began job hunting. I was completely lost on what to do in terms of networking and resume building. I reached out my friend Sarah Hudson, who’s also an Arkansas alumni member and she connected me with fellow member, Tommy Pevehouse. He immediately gave me some great tips on what it takes to be successful in the job market. He worked with me on making my resume look professional by adding depth to my job descriptions and fixing the formatting issues. He also put me in touch with the right people and I landed my first of several job offers in June of 2016.
I have to say Tommy Pevehouse proved to be the difference in me landing my first job offer. He was able to connect me with people that genuinely wanted to help. I’ve been able to make so many great connections through this group and Tommy’s advice. I would highly recommend Tommy Pevehouse and any services he stands behind.”
Field Organizer, (Illinois)
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