10 positions available for legislative internship

With the 2008 legislative session approaching, faculty from the social sciences department are calling on interested students to be this year’s legislative interns.

Legislative interns spend the spring semester from Jan. 3 to the middle of May in Jefferson City, working with local members of the state legislature. Daily activities can include attending meetings, answering constituent letters, working the phones and other duties to assist lawmakers.

“There is a more substance than people think, it’s not just counting paper clips,” said Tom Simpson, professor of political science.

In addition to the 36 hours a week of work experience, students earn a $1,000 stipend to assist with living expenses and a 12-hour tuition waiver. Students can take online classes during the internship, they are encouraged to minimize class time while working in the Capitol.

Though the positions attract a large number of political science majors, there is no requirement as to student majors.

“I think any major could profit from this,” Simpson said, “You really carry the University on your chest.”

The internship also offers “a unique look” at the state political system. Interns get to be an integral part of the legislative process.

“”It’s a great opportunity,” said Will Lynch, sophomore political science major. “I’d love to be a politician and this is going to be an up-close view.”

Ten interns will be selected, provided there is a sufficient spread of qualified candidates. Though there are no specific qualifications, recommendations include upperclassmen status, grades in good standing and the ability to conduct one’s self well in a high-profile environment.

“We’re not just taking any 10,” Simpson said. “It’s better to have no face, than a bad one.”

Applications are due by Oct. 26, and selections for the internship will be made by the end of October. Students wishing to apply may pick up an application in Room 212 of Webster Hall.