Applications open for Washington State Legislative Intern Program

By Jeremy Burnham, Copy Editor

The Washington State Legislative Intern Program is now accepting applications for its winter 2019 program in Olympia.

The internship is full time and paid. EWU also offers a full quarter worth of credit to students who take part.

EWU senior Mayra Hernandez, a political science major, participated in the program in 2018.

“[The experience] taught me that while the classes you take here at Eastern gave you the basic framework of politics, once you’re [in Olympia] you realize that there’s a lot more that goes on,” Hernandez said. “Theories come into play, but at the end of the day it’s real people with real issues.”  

House intern coordinator Paula Rehwaldt said interns can expect a variety of responsibilities including drafting letters, attending committee meetings and corresponding with constituents and state agencies. Interns will also attend a series of classes about state government, including “How a Bill Becomes a Law.”

“You get placed in the office of one state senator, or several state representatives,” Rehwaldt said. “They are very busy, and they don’t have much staff, so you are instantly doing what everyone else in that office does.”

EWU’s career services internship coordinator Romeal Watson said the school will assist in applying the credit in a way that most benefits the student.

“The first thing to do is find out what your major is so that we can work it out with your department,” Watson said.

Watson said any student interested in politics should consider applying, and recommends that they contact him at [email protected] with questions.

“It’s one thing to go to class,” said Watson. “It’s another thing to see how this is actually applicable to the field. Often if you are a political science major, you are only going to get one portion of the information if you are only going to class.”

Rehwaldt said that the program gets between 160 and 170 applicants a year, and that they are able to hire between 65 and 70.