Political Science Alum Sees No Shortage of Opportunity at Kent State
When Michael Guastella was selected to participate in Kent State University’s Columbus Program in Intergovernmental Issues, he was excited and honored to be a part of the exclusive internship program. He never expected that the experience he gained would lead to a full-time position as a constituent aide in Ohio Governor John Kasich’s office less than a year later.
Guastella, a Solon, Ohio native, interned for a law firm and worked on Kasich’s successful re-election campaign in the fall of 2014 while he was in the Columbus program.
Jane Thompson, administrative assistant and intern coordinator for the Kasich campaign, said Guastella has a unique capability of adjusting to numerous situations and people surrounding him.
“He was very professional interacting with campaign staff, which often included the director of the campaign or even Governor Kasich,” Thompson said. “He dealt with numerous volunteers and their different personalities. He could interact with our 70-year-old volunteers, our 15-year-old volunteers, and people who walked into our “storefront” from off the street. Michael also became a mentor to many of his fellow younger student interns. It was a true pleasure to have him on our team.”
Guastella then participated in the Washington Internship program (WPNI) and had an internship in the office of Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) in the spring.
“It was a daily thrill to be in the center of the political universe,” Guastella said. “Without both of these experiences, I would not be where I am today. What made the difference for me at Kent State was that there was no shortage of opportunity.”
After graduating in May with his Bachelor of Arts in political science, Guastella was offered three jobs, ultimately accepting a position in the Ohio Governor’s office. As a constituent aide, Guastella handles a variety of correspondence from the Governor’s office, assists with policy research and legislative affairs, initiates constituent casework, and is a public liaison to all Ohio agencies.
“I would love to continue to work in public policy,” Guastella said. “I always thought I wanted to run for office myself; and who knows, that might happen one day. But I've got a lot of things I want to learn, and a lot of things I want to do before I can do that.”