Hawks Hired! Jessica Taddeo ’23

Hawks Hired highlights the accomplishments of RWU graduates as they finalize the next steps in their career journeys. Jessica is currently a Community Organizer with Our Revolution Medford as well as a dancer. Read on to learn more about her next chapter since graduation.

What was your program of study at RWU? I earned a dual degree in Political Science and Philosophy with a Minor in Dance.

Graduation year? 2023

Where is your next adventure? (Company/School and Role) Most recently, I managed a campaign for a first-time candidate named Emily Lazzaro for Medford City Council. She won her race, pulling in the highest vote total for a challenger. In addition, I worked with eleven other campaigns for City Council and School Committee candidates in my hometown of Medford, Massachusetts. 

I will continue my role as a community organizer with Our Revolution Medford, a grassroots organization focused on housing access and affordability, fully funding our public schools, increasing social service supports, improving local climate resiliency, and reforming the City Charter to create a more representative, inclusive government. 

In addition, I am continuing my career as a dancer with On Stage Dance Company which is located in the Boston area as well as volunteering with the Massachusetts chapter of the National Organization for Women. I hope to join them as a Board Member in December. I have plans to continue my education at either graduate school or law school and am looking forward to continuing campaign work ahead of the 2024 elections.

What are you most looking forward to in this new role?  I am looking forward to giving back by working within my community and with our newly elected officials to bring positive change to Medford residents, like myself, who have called this city home. Grassroots organizing and local government are where people can have the most direct impact, and where people can do the most good. 

What was the process like of landing this job/next opportunity? When I graduated in May and returned home, I reached out to Emily when she announced her campaign to see if I could volunteer in some capacity. We met for coffee and got to chat, and eventually, she asked me to manage her campaign.  Our Revolution Medford had endorsed her candidacy, and having volunteered for them off and on since high school, I was familiar with some of the members and their organizing structure. By the end of the month, I had joined their campaign team to assist the ten other candidates endorsed by the group. The team embraced me with open arms, and I helped run their canvassing, fundraising, voter ID, and voter mobilization initiatives, as well as creating content for their social media accounts. 

Who helped you during your job search/graduate school process? My first job was at the National Organization for Women in Washington, D.C, where I first served as an intern. With the guidance of Dr. June Speakman, I spent the spring semester of my junior year in the Washington Internship Institute Program and was eventually hired full-time as their Field Coordinator. I am grateful for the time I spent there and the skills I was able to acquire. I am grateful to possess the personal network and connections that allowed me to explore different aspects of political campaigns in my community organizing.

What advice do you have to students who are in the process of finding a job/going to graduate school? My biggest piece of advice is to do work that speaks to your soul. I do not mean to sound dismissive of individual situations, but I believe our society discourages work for the sake of fulfillment and necessitates us to think of money and status before all else. I knew when I came to college that I wanted to study certain subjects, in the hopes of molding a life out of them, not to simply find a job. I am continuously ensuring that I combine all aspects of my life: art, activism, and education, to create a professional career that feels true to who I am. I encourage you to think outside the box, challenge yourself, and ask questions so you can do the same. 

Want to share your next steps with the CCPD? Email Kevin (kdeeb@rwu.edu) in the CCPD to learn more about sharing with us!

By Kevin Deeb
Kevin Deeb Career Advisor