Twenty-Three and Working Her Dream Job

Why waste another year, another day, another second working for something you have no passion for?

For Meghan Gray, not a single moment is wasted.

She’s working within her “sweet spot,” as New York Times best-selling author Max Lucado coined for people who use their natural talents and motivation to find purpose and meaning in work.

A May 2012 graduate of Columbia College Chicago with degrees in journalism and public relations, former Leadership Institute intern Meghan Gray, just 23, has landed her dream job: combining event planning with fundraising activities.

She’s the development commissioner at COR Strategies, an innovative political solutions company specializing in strategy, integrated marketing communications, technology, and operations.

“Not many people are fortunate enough to land their dream job fresh out of college, so I consider myself very blessed,” Meghan shared with me.

She applied for the position through LI’s

“I attribute much of my success to the Leadership Institute and the opportunities that have presented themselves since attending my first training. In fact, it was through that I applied for my current position with COR Strategies,” she said.

One of the most unique projects Meghan has worked on since her August 2012 hire was Entrepreneur’s Eve, an annual event of 140-plus companies and 650 of Chicago’s leading entrepreneurs and civic leaders “to lift a glass to the American dream in all of us,” Meghan shared. All proceeds went directly to the H Foundation for cancer research.

“Attending an overwhelmingly liberal college in President Obama’s backyard taught me that liberty is not guaranteed. It must be fought for and preserved with each generation,” Meghan said.

And, she’s fighting for liberty.

Last year, Illinois Conservatives awarded Meghan as one of the “Top 30 under 30” for her commitment to Illinois politics through her expertise in development and campaigns.

“I have been passionate about politics since sixth grade,” Meghan said, “and I am committed to turning Illinois red.”

She’s currently the events director for the Lake County Young Republicans club in the Chicago area.

Meghan was on the Mitt Romney Advance Team in 2012, for which she helped organize rallies, events, and fundraisers across the nation for the presidential race and support Gov. Romney as well as travel with media and campaign surrogates.

“I am incredibly honored to have been even a small part of such an amazing cause,” Meghan said in reference to the presidential campaign, “and consider this one of the most humbling and awe-inspiring experiences of my life.”

Meghan first learned of the Leadership Institute from a friend and immediately registered for a Youth Leadership School in July 2011.

Six months later, she started her internship in LI’s Events department. She took more trainings at the Institute during her three months in Arlington, Virginia.

“Through the various trainings I have attended with LI, I have learned how to write an effective campaign plan, develop a comprehensive public relations strategy, and organize a campaign staff and structure. Most importantly I’ve learned how to win elections,” Meghan said. “The Leadership Institute has equipped me with the tools and skill set necessary to make a difference in the conservative movement. I could not be more thankful for LI and the hard work of individuals like Morton Blackwell.”

While interning for the Leadership Institute in the spring of 2012, Meghan volunteered for The LS Group, for which she assisted with events for Congressman Connie Mack and helped plan Ann Romney’s private birthday celebration.

Please congratulate Meghan Gray for landing her dream job and please welcome her as LI’s Graduate of the Week.

To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member to be featured as LI's spotlight of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Day, formerly Lauren Hart, at