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A Day in the Life: Senate Intern
What is it like in the life of a Senate Intern? GLAMOROUS! Personal badges, marble buildings, and sometimes my boss even brings doughnuts. You even get your own landline phone! How many of your friends can say they have one of those?
In all seriousness, this internship has been a lot of fun. I have had the opportunity to meet people from many different walks of life, experienced a new and unique challenge every day and been able to work with some of the most influential people across the state. The Georgia Legislative Internship prides itself on being a top-notch experience for university students from around the state, and they have delivered.
I was placed in the Senate Press Office (SPO), a non-partisan office that handles media relations and communications needs for all 56 state senators. I work every day writing press releases, media advisories, columns, speeches and weekly updates. I have handled media requests from CBS Atlanta, Fox News, CNN, The Huffington Post and others; using Twitter is even part of my job.
A Typical Day
A typical day in the press office is very busy. We come into work at about 8 a.m. and begin putting together the daily clippings, which are news stories from around the web that have a focus on Georgia. These stories range from business and education to health services and national stories.
After this is sent out to all Senate staff and senators we usually get a jump on some of the work for the day. This could mean drafting press releases for bills that are being discussed on the floor that day, or writing speeches and scripts for the senators.
On most days we go into the Senate chamber at 10 a.m. (9 a.m. on Fridays). We record the chaplain of the day as he leads the devotional, take down notes on senators speaking in the well, resolutions honoring guests and vote counts. We even tweet bill summaries, vote counts and senators discussing bills.
After chamber I often go back to the office or grab some lunch. In the afternoon, work usually consists of a mix of writing and covering committee meetings. The committee meetings are where bills are discussed and worked on before they receive a vote on the Senate floor. Senators are able to hear bills and ask questions of the authors and hear testimony from the general public. This is where some of the nuts and the bolts of the legislation are hammered out.
We also work on a weekly summary of everything that happened in the Senate during the week. This includes short blurbs about the bills passed, resolutions adopted and a short statement from President Pro Tem David Shafer. It is easily the biggest piece of writing that the aides and I work on, and it goes out every week to senators and senate staff.
A Learning Experience
Work has not been easy every day; actually, it has been quite challenging. I write something brand new each day and often am doing things I have never tried before. I had never written a speech for anyone besides myself before this internship, or a press release outside of class, or a column. But now I can and do all of these things.
It has really been an incredible and life changing experience. I would love to do it year after year. As soon as I found out what day the internship was ending I got really bummed out. I very much look forward to next year where I will have the opportunity to apply to the Senate Aide program after graduation.
About the Author
Gregory Bieger is a Senate Press Office Intern and a student at Kennesaw State University. He has written for KSU’s student run newspaper, The Sentinel, as well as the Juvenile Justice Project and expects to graduate December of this year with a B.A. in Communication: Journalism and Citizen Media.