Caulder Harvill-Childs plans to run for political office one day, and he says his campaign colors will be red and black! The Marietta native, who is a long-distance runner and is involved in Special Olympics, offers words of praise for UGA’s Washington Semester Program.
George Walton Comprehensive High School
B.A. in political science, minor in speech communication
University highlights, achievements and awards:
In Spring 2010, I first participated in what would become the defining program of my college career: The Washington Semester Program. My first internship was with Senator Saxby Chambliss as his military intern in the armed services wing of his office. This was an amazing opportunity to see our legislative process in action during the critical debate surrounding healthcare coverage in America. I had the opportunity to attend hearings and meetings, prepare reports that the senator himself would read, and work directly with the senator’s legislative staff. By far the highlight of my internship was the chance to write a speech for Senator Chambliss eulogizing a fallen soldier in Iraq. While it was sobering to read of the young man’s death, it was a proud moment to watch the senator read my speech on the senate floor.
This awesome experience led me to be offered the unique opportunity of interning with the General Electric Company in their Government Relations Headquarters in D.C. in spring 2011. I was the first intern the office had ever had, and I can honestly say I have never learned so much in such a short time. For the first time, I was being exposed to the intersection of business and politics and seeing how government policy affects business strategy. My responsibilities involved attending committee hearings, working with the lobbyists on relevant issues and preparing reports for the lobbyists. I also was able to attend meetings with members of Congress and staff. I learned about everything from export finance to high-speed rail policy and defense acquisition to crisis management. GE is an amazing company that hires only the best, and it was an honor to be able to work with such a talented and driven group of people.
Both semesters in D.C. have provided me with invaluable experience and an extensive network of contacts and friends as I begin the process of job hunting. I recommend the Washington Semester Program to anyone, regardless of their major.
My GE credentials carried me into an internship this last summer with the Digital Energy division of GE Energy in Atlanta. In this capacity, I worked on energy policy regarding smart grid and grid modernization efforts across the country as well as on developing a consistent government relations strategy for the energy business. By observing the benefits of investing in smarter technology and more efficient energy sources, my passion for making the U.S. a leader in efficient and clean energy only grew.
When not interning, I am involved with the College Republicans; however, I am a self-described moderate and am known to split my tickets when candidates are just too crazy. It’s a great organization that has allowed me to intern for several campaigns, including former Secretary of State Karen Handel’s 2010 Gubernatorial campaign. In addition, thanks to my long-time friend Krelin, I participate with the Special Olympics at UGA. I also attend Athens Church where I serve on the Guest Services team and am part of a men’s small group.
Family Ties to UGA:
I come from a devoted Bulldog family. Both my mom and dad attended UGA, along with many of my aunts, uncles and cousins. When I was applying to colleges, my dad said he wouldn’t pay for me to go anywhere that had orange as one of their colors, so UGA was a natural fit.
I chose to attend UGA because...
UGA allows its students to have a great balance between the academic and social experiences of college. The professors of the university are phenomenal, and I have learned and matured so much, thanks to their commitment to their job. Second, let’s face it, there’s no better place to have a good time than Athens. The downtown scene mixed with the great culture of the city along with Georgia football offers something for everyone.
My favorite things to do on campus are...
run around campus. I think UGA has one of the nicest and most challenging (thanks to the hills) campuses in the nation. I meet new people everyday that tell me they see me running around campus all the time. Also, with an athletic facility like Ramsey, I always find something to do there.
When I have free time, I like...
to run. I really enjoy competing in half marathons, and I’ve signed up to compete in my first full marathon in March. My highlight last year was placing 34th in the 2nd Annual Athens Half Marathon. I beat my previous time by 2 minutes and placed 10 spots higher, which I was really proud of. I’m also a political junkie, so I like to stay up-to-date on the current happenings in Washington. Besides those, I love hanging out with my friends and just having a good time.
The craziest thing I've done is...
both crazy and pretty stupid on my part. When I was in D.C. for my first internship, I decided to go for a run on the night of the State of the Union address. Little did I know that the Capitol, which was frequently part of my run, was blocked off, and Capitol Police were not letting people onto the grounds. So, with my iPod blaring AC/DC, I just blow past the Capitol Police without thinking twice about what’s going on. Shortly thereafter, I see several officers running towards me frantically. Needless to say, the officers were pretty angry that I was able to get past the barricades, so I just pulled the intern card and said I was from out of town. They let me go with a warning, but I think that was the closest I’ve ever been to being arrested.
My favorite place to study is...
either on the third floor of the SLC (now known as the MLC) or in my room. I can pretty much study anywhere as long as I have my iPod and some room to spread out.
My favorite professor is...
Dr. Charles Bullock III. Dr. Bullock is honestly one of the smartest men on the face of the earth when it comes to politics. He is a human encyclopedia of information on everything from southern politics to redistricting, and it has been a joy to have him as a professor as well as a faculty sponsor for my internships in D.C. Dr. Bullock is one of the few professors I have had that takes the time to get to know each one of his students and have a conversation with them before class. I heard a saying in the Political Science department that if you want to graduate with a degree in political science, you have to take a class with Chuck Bullock, and I completely agree. For all us aspiring politicians and world-changers, Dr. Bullock’s classes are a must. One of my goals in life is to be mentioned in one of the many books I’m sure he will be writing in the future (*hint*).
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...
Since I am a political junkie, I would love to be able to spend time talking with some of America’s best leaders from both parties. My top choices would be Dwight Eisenhower, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and Woodrow Wilson. But, because of my experiences at GE, I also would have to throw in businessmen, such as Jack Welch and Jeff Immelt. It would be phenomenal to hear all these men discuss the keys to successful leadership.
If I knew I could not fail, I would...
run a super marathon and run for president. I think it’s about time we had a bulldog in the White House, and who doesn’t want to fly on Air Force One?
If money was not a consideration, I would love to...
take my dad and myself on a “Car Tour” of Europe to Stuttgart and Munich, Germany to the Porsche and BMW headquarters and then to Maranello and Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy to the Ferrari and Lamborghini headquarters. My dad and I are obsessed with cars, and, hopefully, I could finally master the manual transmission. It wouldn’t be bad to have enough money to buy one of each car either.
After graduation, I plan to...
head straight to Washington, D.C. After my internships, I can definitely say I’ve caught “Potomac Fever” and I can’t imagine living anywhere else when I’m young. Most likely, I’ll end up on Capitol Hill in a congressional office, but I’m looking at private sector options as well with some top-tier companies such as GE. After my internship this summer with GE Energy, my passion for U.S. energy policy and energy conservation only grew, so I would love to work in Congress or with an energy corporation on promoting the use of renewable and alternate energy sources. I’m also keeping the option of a career in the U.S. Navy open. I’ve always admired those who have served our country and definitely feel the armed services would be an amazing opportunity to gain leadership experience and give back to my country. Whatever path I take, though, I hope to one day run for office myself. People tell me my name is perfect for running for office, so I’ve started brainstorming some campaign slogans. I already know though that my campaign colors will be red and black!
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...
would have to be Georgia-Florida 2010 and 2011. Both were weekends I will never forget, especially since we beat the Gators this year!