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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Internship provides legislative experience

A semester-long internship in Phoenix is allowing a group of UA students to work with the state Legislature.

The internship, offered through a program in Phoenix, has students spend a semester working in the Capitol. Participants are placed in the House of Representatives, the Senate or the governor’s office.

In addition to UA students, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University students are also participating in the internship. The UA’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences organized it for the UA, and selected participants from a pool of 69 applicants from colleges all over campus. Historically, political science majors make up the majority of the interns, but this year there are also interns studying finance, molecular and cellular biology, public administration and finance.

Seventeen UA students were chosen in January, outnumbering the interns from ASU and NAU combined.

“The program has been in existence for 42 years,” said Cherie McCollum, executive assistant to the dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “Our students come away with experience and knowledge that they could not obtain in a classroom setting during one semester.”

Participants can earn up to 12 undergraduate or nine graduate credits while getting familiar with the political process in Arizona, McCollum said. This includes writing speeches, drafting amendments, attending meetings and community hearings, summarizing bills and working with constituents. Interns must also take a midterm and final exam in addition to writing academic essays that relate to their experiences throughout the internship.

“Overall, working here is the best learning experience I’ve had,” said Daniel Andrés Dominguez, a junior studying political science and journalism. Dominguez is working on media relations and speech writing during his time in Phoenix.

The internship also allowed Christopher Adams, a political science senior, to take his passion for politics to the next level. Before heading to Phoenix, Adams worked on the campaigns of Regina Romero, a member of the Tucson City Council, and Jonathan Rothschild, the city’s mayor.

“For years, I have had the dream to become a civil servant and work in the public interest of the American people,” Adams said. The internship is helping him reach that goal, he said.

Interns are given a $4,200 stipend from the Legislature, and their fees and tuition are also waived for the semester.

“This is one of the few paid internship programs offered at the UA,” McCollum said. “Many students come away feeling that this was one of the best experiences of their college career.”

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