NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Ever thought of running for political office, being a campaign manager or just volunteering?

A new course at The New School called “Campaign Management Boot Camp,” is designed to shine a light on all things political.

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The condensed four-session course being taught by Professor Jeffrey Smith is meant to offer a complete picture of what it’s like to run a campaign, launch a campaign or cover a campaign in the news media.

Smith said step one is deciding if you’re fully invested in running for office.

“There’s a lot of things that some people find distasteful and you have to make sure that you’re committed to it because if you go into it in a half-hearted way, you’re probably going to lose,” Smith told WCBS 880’s Steve Scott.

The professor said it’s important for a candidate to not go it alone.

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“I think the biggest mistake is that a lot of candidates think they can run their own campaign. I’m sure you’ve heard the old axiom that anyone who represents themselves in court has a fool for a client. Well, it’s kind of the same thing with political candidates. It’s very important that you find a campaign manager who’s smart, someone that you can trust, someone who is a good manager and administrator,” Smith told Scott.

Smith said when a person does decide to run for office, getting out the vote and the fundraising effort is critical from the start.

The professor, who has previously served as a state senator in Missouri, said early on in the campaign the candidate should make a list of everyone they’ve ever met and then call them seeking donations. He said it can be an uncomfortable situation but will get a bit easier with each call.

And Smith said his top piece of advice for anyone seeking office is to not get distracted from the core goal.

“If you can’t draw a tangible, direct connection between an activity and how it will get you either money or votes, you shouldn’t do it and you shouldn’t worry about it,” Smith told Scott.

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For more information on the course, click here.