Addison Garside, a Political Science major, interned with the Utah State Legislature during the Winter of 2020. Read more about her incredible experience here!
This was a Utah State Legislature Internship where my skills grew in areas such as networking, policy research, client support and outreach, scheduling, meeting with special interest groups, and supporting legislators in managing legislation.
While I expected to have a great time at the Capitol I did not fully realize all the doors this internship was able to open for me for the rest of my career. I was able to network and make connections all throughout the Capitol, finding mentors that were willing to help me along my education journey. I was fellowshipped and now have a network of people who will help and support me throughout graduate school.
I was pleasantly surprised to have learned so much about graphic design. This was a unique skill I found myself developing as I rebranded newsletters, social media posts, and also handouts. Graphic design was a skill that helped elevate my presentations as they had quality content and quality design. I got quite attached to my lapel pin and I think that BYU students should receive one as a unifying badge!
This internship has changed my short-term plans because I have been chosen for a fellowship with the House Majority Staff. For the next year, I will be working with this staff while simultaneously finishing up my last year of school. I will continue to gain incredible experiences.
Long term my future plans have changed because while completing my internship I realized that I want to be a drafting attorney for the State. I walked into the internship knowing I wanted to go to law school, but I walked out of the internship knowing I wanted to go to law school and get my JD and MPP to be a drafting attorney. Thanks to my internship I have better and clearer plans as well as mentors along the way. I spoke with several drafting attorneys daily during the internship in coordinating bills and amendments for my legislator, so I was able to establish meaningful relationships with persons already in the positions that I am striving for.
COVID did not interrupt my internship. The very last day of the session was the day the governor declared that there would be no meetings greater than ten people; classes moved online after that.
I 100% would recommend this internships to other students and already have because it gives such a front row view into the political process. This internship is different from Washington seminar because Capital interns are the only staff the legislators have so we get to be a part of everything. It is short internship but it allows students to make powerful connections and gain confidence in their abilities to network, establish meaningful relationships and find mentors. During the first week, I was writing a newsletter that got sent out to 14,000 constituents weekly. I was creating a survey that was sent out and then I recorded and analyzed data on my own. This internship helped me to see the direct application of principles learned in class and see how it plays a role in our lives. It was challenging experience but I loved every minute of it. As you can see in my photo below, often working long nights we would occasionally eat quick meals together before running off to another meeting, town hall or class of young constituents.
Addison Garside, Representative Jim Dunnigan and Hannah Jeffs.