Fall 2010 Issue

Features: Young, smart and fabulously employed

The campaigner

Joe Caiazzo ’08 is pictured in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Most students search for that one dream job following graduation that will keep them employed and secure for years to come.

Since graduation, Joseph Caiazzo ’08 has landed four.

The history and theology major chose to make a career in politics, and since leaving Barry more than a year ago he has been involved in four political campaigns.

It’s a vagabond life, the opposite of a 9 to 5 cubicle gig, and not for everybody, Caiazzo says.

I love getting out there and talking to voters. Unfortunately, because of the economy, I've seen big men who have broken down in tears.

“We work seven days a week, 10-12 hours a day. It’s a high-stress job, and every day you’re walking on egg shells, because if you make that one slip up the media will bury you.”

But it’s that excitement that hooked Caiazzo.

“I love getting out there and talking to voters. Unfortunately, because of the economy, I’ve seen big men who have broken down in tears. They’re on the verge of losing their house because they haven’t worked in two years. It’s hard, but to be 23 and exposed to something like that - something most people my age aren’t - is really incredible and makes me feel lucky for what I have.”

Caiazzo most recently worked as a field organizer for William Keeting who ran for Massachusetts’ 10th U.S. Congressional district. And before that he worked for Democratic candidate Mike Day who lost a September 14 primary battle for the Massachusetts state senate.

He landed his first job three months after graduation when James Fiorentini hired him to run his re-election campaign for mayor of Haverhill, Massachusetts.

“I sent them my résumé, sat down with the mayor, and they hired me on the spot. It’s not really a super exciting first job story.” Caiazzo jokes.

Not true, says Sean Foreman, assistant professor of political science. Most political campaigns won’t hire anybody, much less a campaign manager, without the recommendation of a friend or colleague.

“Either you know someone or you don’t,” Foreman says. “So for Joe to get a job like that is not the way it usually happens. But he did it through persistence, hard work and a little luck like everything else.”

Caiazzo grew up in Stoneham, Massachusetts, and would like to find a steady job close to home. But at this stage in his career, he anticipates being on the move for years to come.

“If I got a great offer somewhere else in the country, I would have no problem packing up my jeep and driving to wherever that next opportunity is,” says Caiazzo, who also worked as a field organizer in Chicago for Dan Seals who lost his 2008 race for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. “It gives me the opportunity to see different parts of the country and meet people from all over the place. When you’re young you have to take advantage of everything that comes your way.”