Jaylin McClinton

Photograph of Jaylin D. McClinton

JAYLIN D. MCCLINTON (‘16) is a graduate of the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois. Out of college, he worked as a Reuss intern at the University of Illinois Foundation. He also volunteered and served on Secretary Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as a delegate candidate during his free time. McClinton was later accepted to the White House Internship Program, where he worked under the Obama administration in the Office of Management & Administration. Mr. McClinton describes himself as “extremely lucky” for this opportunity and believes his career path would’ve taken a “completely different trajectory” if not for this internship.

Following his White House internship, McClinton worked as the District Manager for first-term State Representative Juliana Stratton’s office. There, he handled both administrative and constituent-related issues, along with oversight of legislative affairs and the internship program. He is most proud of two resolutions that the state representative has worked on thus far: H.R. 579, which urges Governor Rauner to request to temporarily waive the Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (AWAWD) time limit, as well as H.R. 677, which urges Governor Rauner to make appointments to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees that reflect the racial and gender diversity of Illinois. H.R. 677 hits close to home for McClinton, since he served as an elected student trustee on the Board of Trustees during his time in Urbana-Champaign. As of November 2017, out of the 26 bills that State Rep. Stratton introduced, nearly 10-15 of them have been signed into law, a statistic that Jaylin notes is quite impressive for a first-term legislator.

In December 2017, McClinton began a new endeavor with the Obama Foundation’s public engagement team as their first community organizer. His responsibilities include building a hyper-local organizing program to engage residents primarily in Chicago’s South Shore, Woodlawn, and Washington Park neighborhoods around the idea of a presidential center coming to the South Side of Chicago, as well as using analytics and digital tools as a means for new methods of engagement. His main focus is to listen directly to the community’s needs and concerns as it relates to bringing the presidential center to life.

Stressing how grateful he was that he was given so many opportunities, McClinton’s advice for Political Science majors at the University of Illinois is to “trust the process”, which he believes means working hard, making meaningful connections with people that interest you, and not being afraid to ask for help when it is needed. He understands that searching for a job right after college can be difficult, but he believes that so long as one remains confident and persistent, the right opportunities will present themselves along the way.

Mr. McClinton can be reached at jaylinmcclinton2012@gmail.com.

Hear from Mr. McClinton as he shares advice for students interested in pursuing a career in public service.


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