MITCH DICKEY (‘16) is the University of Illinois Alumni Alliance’s Advocacy Coordinator, where he helps manage federal and state advocacy efforts on the University of Illinois’ behalf.
The University of Illinois has always been near to Dickey’s heart. “I always had a passion for government, which is why I was drawn to our state’s flagship university. Illinois provided me with an unmatched education and exposed me to countless opportunities in public service,” said Dickey.
As a student, Dickey focused on coursework that pushed him outside of his comfort zone. Dickey said, “My favorite course was PS 408, Islam and Politics. It forced me to grapple with new ways of thinking about the Middle East and strengthened my critical thinking skills.” Outside of class, Dickey served as Student Body President during one of the most fraught moments in Illinois’ history: the budget crisis. In that capacity, Dickey worked with student and university leaders, and coordinated advocacy efforts on behalf of the university.
As a freshman, Dickey planned on attending law school, but changed course after gaining more political experience. He accepted a position with the Illinois Legislative Staff Intern Program (ILSIP), Illinois’ premier internship program. There, he worked on the Speaker’s staff in the Illinois General Assembly. “There is no better way to learn about government than by throwing yourself into it, and ILSIP does just that” he said.
It was not long until Dickey heard about the Alumni Alliance’s work in Springfield, which was what drew him to his current job. It offered the opportunity to combine his loyalty to the orange and blue with his passion for government. “The University of Illinois system is one of Illinois’ key economic drivers, and the Alumni Association is dedicated to supporting the labor pipeline coming out of our universities.”
Dickey’s advice to young graduates is simple, “join a campaign and put the work in.” In his view, the world of government and politics is always hungry for the smart, hardworking alumni that come out of the University of Illinois.
Mr. Dickey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org