By Noah Vargas
Elm Staff Editor
Applications are now open for the Maryland General Assembly’s student internships. According to the information regarding the internship, during the legislation session, roughly 150 college students are given the opportunity to serve as legislative interns. Interested students can apply and interview for placement with different legislators, committees, or even caucuses.
For application and sponsorship information, students should look no further than Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies and Director of the Near Eastern Studies minor Dr. Tahir Shad.
“It’s important for students to develop a comprehensive portfolio not only in the classroom but also in the workplace,” Dr. Shad said. “The MGA internship opportunity gives students invaluable practical experience and a wonderful networking opportunity.”
According to Dr. Shad, students will “be able to research, write reports, track bills, communicate with witnesses, follow committee hearings, prepare reports, give testimony, coordinate mailings and newsletters, and provide constituency services.”
“Two students will get eight credits in the department of political science.” Dr. Shad said. “In the spring semester students will work two days a week: Tuesdays and Thursdays at the state assembly and participate in a seminar on Wednesdays.”
Dr. Shad also spoke on the opportunities that open up from this program. “Many of our students have received jobs as a result of their internship in the Maryland State assembly,” he said. “I encourage my students to get as many internships as possible under their belt before they graduate.”
Dr. Shad also went on to say that this internship helps students stand out.
“This is one way of distinguishing yourself from other students who may be good students but have not had an extensive internship portfolio,” he said. “Internships are extremely valuable; they can help students get into graduate programs and jobs.”
One of the students partaking in this program is senior Kristina Curley. “ I interned for Delegate Fraser-Hidalgo, a delegate in District 15,” Curley said. “My daily tasks included researching and tracking legislation, communicating with constituents, tracking constituent views, and helping run social media. I also got to attend bill hearings and Senate and House floor sessions.”
Curley also spoke on her takeaway from the internship overall.
“I learned so much about the inner workings of state government and all the behind the scenes and work that goes into passing legislation,” she said. “It requires the work of so many different people and I just think it is really cool how attuned state governments are to the people’s needs. It was also my first internship at Washington College so I feel I gained a sense of professionalism throughout my time at the General Assembly.”
Another student involved with the internship is senior Dylan Snow. “I had the awesome opportunity to intern for State Senator Delores Kelley.” Snow said. “I did a lot of work interacting with the Senator’s constituents- hearing their positions on Bills and helping with any assistance they needed with state agencies. I also got to do a lot of research for legislation, and help write some of the Senator’s speeches.”
“I think it is one of the most amazing opportunities I’ve had in college,” Snow said.
According to Snow, he would recommend the program to anyone considering it, because there’s something for everyone, even those not involved with the Political Science Department. Snow said that there are laws and issues that relate to everyone, from small businesses to reproductive rights. All of these things are impacted by the General Assembly, so the opportunity to learn about this functioning firsthand can be helpful and informative regardless.
Snow said that this internship reminded him of why he loved his major.
“This internship reminded me why I became interested in politics and policy, gave me faith for the future, and taught me so much,” he said.
Students who are interested should submit an Intern Application, which should include their sponsorship information, resume, essay, and transcript.
For more information, students can contact Dr. Shad at email@example.com or at his office in Goldstein 229. The deadline for the application is October 31.
For an extension, students can contact the Intern Coordinator at 410-946-5124 or by email at Carolyn.Pell@mlis.state.md.us.