What is the Arizona Legislative Internship Program?
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What is the Arizona Legislative Internship Program?

Hi I’m Dr. Tara Lennon and I coordinate
ASU’s participation in the Arizona Legislative and Governmental Internship
Program. Now this selective program is open actually to all the universities in
Arizona and we placed interns down at the Capitol at the legislature, the
governor’s office, the Supreme Court and at ASU we also partner with several
other agencies that include: Secretary of State, the Attorney General and several
others that you can find on our website. In this brief video we’re going to
go over expectations for the interns that are representing ASU down at the
Capitol. Some of the benefits and most importantly a couple tips for how to
apply. So this is as I suggested, a selective program. The interns that serve
the Capitol – it’s a full-time job plus it’s the 40-hour workweek minimum.
You begin in the spring semester. It takes 18 weeks from January up to May
and those hours are downtown in business attire 8:00 to 5:00 at least and when
legislative session runs long it can go into the evenings. So we expect our ASU
interns to represent us well in terms of their work ethic but also to go and
start the internship program running basically having some research skills,
writing skills and communication skills. This is not a get coffee kind of
internship. This is the system that has been in place for almost 50 years with
an ASU relationship in the capital. So we’ve been sending interns there for a
while. They have a training system that helps you understand how to do your
work the best you can. And the type of work no matter where you end up in the
legislative internship program is going to be about tracking bills and
legislation, researching how they have served statutory and fiscal and policy
impacts and then presenting that information both in written form and in
oral testimony down at the legislature. So even if you’re working for the
Supreme Court or the Secretary of State these offices
they have concerns and interests in legislation so they have bills that they
need to track. So regardless of whether you end up at a specific agency or down
at the house or the Senate then you will be tracking legislation and reporting on
its possible impacts. So this work experience is so valuable you get
trained to do real legislative and policy research and public speaking. Now
what you benefit from is essentially twelve undergraduate credit hours and
nine if you’re a graduate student. You get the whole spring tuition paid for
that semester and then you also get a forty seven hundred dollar stipend. So
you get the credits the experience and the stipend once you’re accepted. The
hours are tough but the experience is great professionally and personally at
least according to our other interns so please check out some of our
testimonials. Now how do you apply? There’s the applications available on
our website the basics are there so in this video I wanted to let you know just
some tips that might not be so obvious. This is selective – a selective internship
in which you need to be precise you need to be accurate and follow whatever
directions their application puts out. So the legislature is provided the
application that we make available on our website. When they say, “please type
your responses”, do not handwrite responses on that application. So follow
their instructions carefully. Answer every one of the questions that they
have. Any of these incomplete applications, if you’re missing a letter
or you’re missing your transcripts, they simply won’t go any farther. So they
would be considered incomplete and ineligible. So follow all the basic
directions. Okay that seems obvious. We also expect that your writing sample is completely 100% free of typos.
Now these tips might seem obvious but just keep them in mind and have someone else double-check your work. All right the less obvious tips. This is a
political environment. This is a legislature
that has multiple parties represented so I would say the bulk of the internships
down there at the Capitol our bipartisan. You are serving a committee that is
needing you to research on a certain topic. Now there are partisan caucuses
that some interns will be assigned to and there are some agencies that are
headed by partisan elected officials. So those agencies have essentially interns
that they hire that fit a particular party. However, what you should take into
consideration when you’re filling out the application is the bipartisan nature
of being a legislative staff. They’re not asking you to advocate a particular
policy or partisan position. They’re asking you to summarize and objectively
report fiscal implication, statutory implications and the basics of the bill.
So consider that when you’re answering the question about your political
leanings. So be sure to be truthful but be effective. Now the another question
that comes up is, they’ll ask on the application do you know any elected
officials that are currently down in the Capitol and for this what I strongly
recommend is that you limit that to individuals that you know well. So if
you’ve met a senator or representative once or twice, those are not the names
that you should be putting on there. Only if you have close ties, friendly ties,
family ties to a particular current representatives should you include that
information in the application. The other aspects is make sure that you have asked
for your letters of recommendation early. There needs to be two letters of
recommendation. One has to be from someone, a professor that knows your
writing, that knows your work and it can the second one can be from our employer
but we strongly recommend that you really only include letters that are not
friends of the families with high titles but people that can really speak to your
academic ability or work ethic, your writing, your research ability, your
critical thinking so think of those people that can write
those kinds of letters. Ask them early because the deadline for the application
is in mid-September so it comes up fast. So I hope that this video was helpful.
We have high expectations for the interns in this program. We try to match
them with substantial benefits and I hope these tips were helpful in making
you a success as an applicant.

One Comment

  • Jack Harper

    This is a good program.  The stipend is low, but the experience is a great step to working in state government.  The Legislature always needs committee analysts with a Masters in Public Administration.  The best committee analysts usually are usually hired away by a new Governor to work for the Executive Branch.  The most-connected staffers for the Governor, usually go onto a private-sector position affecting public policy (i.e. lobbyists).-Former State Senator Jack Harper (Current Accounting student at ASU)

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