SUU Student Interns with Utah State Senator Karen Mayne

Published: June 24, 2021 | Author: Kierstin Pitcher-Holloway | Read Time: 2 minutes

SUU intern Tom Cloward and Utah State Senate minority leader Karen MayneTom Cloward, a political science major at Southern Utah University, recently completed an internship with Utah State Senate minority leader Karen Mayne. The internship position came with an extensive list of responsibilities.

“In the Utah legislature there are no paid staffers for legislators, so the interns end up managing their entire offices,” said Cloward. “I did all her appointments and scheduling, I managed her phones and email to respond to constituents, I tracked a variety of bills, I sat in on meetings that she could not attend, and I reported back to her about what happened. I also would run and retrieve bills and/or her glasses when she was stuck on the senate floor.”

Cloward found out about the internship through SUU’s Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service where he has worked as an executive council member since his freshman year. Toward the end of the rigorous application process, Cloward was invited to work for a senator in minority party leadership, and placed with Senator Mayne.

“My favorite part was feeling involved in such an important process,” said Cloward. “I got to learn the inner workings of how everything goes in the Utah State Legislature, and the ins and outs of Utah politics.”

The most difficult part for Cloward was having to leave after the shortened nature of the internship.

“I loved it there, and even on the craziest days I enjoyed running through the capitol trying to support my senator,” said Cloward. “Unfortunately, due to the nature of the legislative session being only 7 weeks out of the year, it is very fast, and it builds up to a climax of trying to push a bunch of bills through in the last week, and then it just abruptly ends.”

Besides providing quality work experience that will benefit his resume, Cloward’s time working with Senator Mayne reaffirmed his desire to work in his chosen field. Cloward enjoys studying politics and the process of lawmaking and chose to study political science because of a strong desire to work with people. He hopes to find a career in which he can make a positive impact on the current government system by helping politicians make wise, level-headed decisions that benefit society.

“My advice to T-birds looking for internships is not to be afraid of messing up your schedule for a while, or applying to internships that seem like a long shot,” said Cloward. “The real-world experience, contacts, and knowledge that comes from being in the action at a career you want is more than worth it.”

The Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service focuses on research, citizenship, leadership, and service. The center advocates for increased civic engagement among the campus and local communities and is the only student-managed center of its kind in Utah.

Tags: College of Humanities and Social Sciences Leavitt Center Political Science

Contact Information:

Contact the Office of Marketing Communication