Leavitt Center

Miranda Jones, Intern Testimonial

The 2016 General session of the Utah State Legislature was 45 days full of long nights, budget negotiations, public criticism, and ultimately successful legislation. I was given the opportunity to see and experience it all alongside Senate Majority Whip, J. Stuart Adams; but I like to call him Stu.

After serving various other local and national internships during my college career, I can say without hesitation that the state legislature was the most substantive and worthwhile internship I have experienced. As a legislative intern, you are not treated as such. Working exclusively with a state legislator, you serve as staff in the roles of press secretary, scheduler, personal assistant, constituent liaison, general counsel, and confidant. The breadth of duties is wide, the personal attention close, and the scope of learning deep. Due to the nature of the internship I was able to gain that personal attention with one of Utah's greatest minds and leaders who I am now grateful to call a mentor.

While the legislation we handled wasn't nearly as appealing or sexy as were the medical marijuana bills; state infrastructure, water, and economic development turned out to be just as controversial. Witnessing and engaging in the political process firsthand not only increased my knowledge of our state government, but drew me closer to the issues that affect the people of Utah.

Unlike other internships, I was given information and knowledge of the State's most difficult and pressing issues and was often asked to give my insight and opinions. Not only was I able to interact with legislators, but was also able to network with the largest businesses, companies, and organizations within Utah's private and public sector. I have found these connections to be of great value as I begin to search for post-graduate employment within the coming months.

A wise professor once told me, "There is nothing you will learn in any of my classes that will be more valuable than the experiences and knowledge that you will gain while participating in an internship." That statement could not be more true. What I wish all students understood is that internships are key in gaining experience, building your resume, and creating a network. It doesn't have to be political, and you don't have to work for a senator, but finding an internship that will give you the experience to set you apart in the vast pool of post-graduate applicants is not only important, it is vital.

-Miranda Jones