Seven PCC students are working as interns for various state legislators in Salem this session. The internships, established by the college to give interested students experience in government, are helping to broaden their skill sets as well as build awareness of the college with state leaders. Below is a profile of one of the interesting interns.
Area of Study: Oregon Transfer Degree and Elementary Education.
Campus: Cascade and Sylvania campuses.
Hometown: Southeast Portland.
Who are you an intern for and what are the things you do for them?
I am interning in Speaker of the House Tina Kotek and Rep. Jennifer Williamson’s offices, spending most of my time in the Speaker’s office. I do many things, from filing letters to answering phone calls and e-mails to filling out speaking requests. It’s a busy job, but I really enjoy it.
How are you liking the experience and what is your favorite part of the job?
This is by far one of the best experiences I’ve had. I think my favorite part is getting to learn everything the Representatives and the Speaker do and how the Legislature works, and getting to talk to some of the people that come in.
How will you use this experience for either your education or for your future career?
I will likely utilize all of the skills that I have learned here, from speaking to those with a differing viewpoint to navigating new computer programs. Mostly, I think my new understanding of how legislation affects education will have a huge impact on my teaching career in the future.
How did you hear about this opportunity, and why did you apply for it?
I was Political Science Instructor Michael Sonnleitner’s student during fall term and went to see Secretary of State Kate Brown speak at the Cascade Campus. During that event, the internship opportunity was announced, and I talked to Michael and expressed my interest. I followed up until the application was online and then I applied. I decided to apply because it sounded like a really awesome opportunity and I was right.
What has been your favorite moment to date (i.e. an event, meeting somebody…etc)?
My favorite moment was participating in, and running, the Speaker’s Cup Challenge for the Governor’s Food Drive, which I also took part in organizing.
Is there something you have learned you didn’t know before about the legislative process or about the legislators themselves?
I’ve learned that many of them do have common goals, regardless of party lines. They all care about the well-being of their constituents and want to make sure that their voices are heard, and every decision that they make is done with their district’s best interest at heart.
And, is there anything your legislators or their staff have learned about you and the community college they may not have known?
Speaker Kotek’s staff have learned about my love for Sci-Fi and my abilities to fix computers and printers.
How much has this meant to you?
As mentioned earlier, this has been the best opportunity of my life. I have learned so many things and met so many great people, and it is definitely not an experience I will forget. It’s not often that people get excited about getting up at 5:30 in the morning to go to a desk job, but it has been so enjoyable that I’m willing to give up as much sleep as possible to be involved in such an opportunity.