On Friday, I had the honor of speaking to a graduating class at ITT Tech Newburgh’s September commencement ceremony. Being in front of these students, who have made a significant academic commitment to their future, really made me reflect back to my own younger years.
While it seemed like everyone around me had their lives all planned out, I still was not sure what exactly I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to obtain a job which allowed me to provide a comfortable life for my future wife and children, but how exactly I wanted to do that, I did not know. Eventually though, with a little help from a mentor, I was led down a path to healthcare and later public service; first as a respiratory therapist, then as a coroner and now as a state representative.
Choosing a career in public service is a decision I have never regretted. It continues to be an incredibly fulfilling line of work, and it is an option which I would highly encourage any current college student or recent graduate to consider. If this is something you have thought about and are wondering how to get your foot in the door, state government is an excellent first place to start.
In fact, today I would like to share with you how you can get started. Each legislative session, the Indiana House Republicans offer a full-time, paid internship at the Statehouse in downtown Indianapolis. The internship lasts for the duration of session meaning it will begin January 2015 and run through late April.
Interns generally work from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and truly get a taste of what life is like after college. One of the best parts is, in addition to a bi-weekly stipend of $700 and the opportunity to apply for a competitive $3,000 Verizon scholarship toward undergraduate or graduate expenses, most colleges and universities also offer course credit for the internship!
There are several areas to which interns can apply. Member services interns will be paired with a full-time Legislative Assistant who typically works for three specific representatives. Some of the intern’s responsibilities include tracking legislation, working with constituents and researching legislative questions or problems.
Communications interns will be paired with a full-time Press Secretary as they assist with media relations for eight representatives. Some of their responsibilities include writing publications, video production, social media analysis, arranging interviews with reporters, photography and covering press conferences. In addition, there are also internship opportunities in areas such as information technology, policy analysis and fiscal analysis.
This internship truly prepares students for the next step in life and sets them up for a future career in state government. In fact, my current Legislative Assistant and Press Secretary are both former interns.
Just as I had someone to help me along the way, I truly hope that someone reading this today will be compelled to take this potentially life-changing next step towards their future. All college-level students and recent college graduates from all academic majors are encouraged to apply. Don’t delay: the deadline is Oct. 31.
For more information, please visit http://www.in.gov/legislative/house_republicans/intern.html.