Washington State Legislature offers student internship opportunities

By Libby Campbell, Senior Reporter

Students interested in learning more about state government are encouraged to apply for an internship with the Washington State Legislature.

“This is an excellent opportunity to gain professional experience prior to graduation and to make contacts in your area of interest,” said Paula Rehwaldt, civic education coordinator at the office of Program Research.

“You will learn how state government works and how it applies to all career fields. It is an exciting learning and growth experience.”

The full-time internship is available to juniors and seniors of any discipline who are registered for undergraduate academic credit.

“Interns spend winter quarter or spring semester working in Olympia as staff to members of the Washington State House of Representatives or Senate,” Rehwaldt said.

“Interns participate in weekly academic seminars and workshops. Interns have the opportunity to shadow an elected official or administrator of a state agency.”

Interns work Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Interns will do research, attend committee hearings, compose letters, interact with constituents and stakeholder groups.

The interns also have time during the week to pursue their particular interests,” Rehwaldt said. “Interns also attend seminars and work groups with the governor, media, lobbyists, Supreme Court justices, budget writers and have a mock committee hearing and floor debate.”

Approximately 60 to 80 internships are awarded.

According to the Washington State Legislature website, applicants need to provide an application with faculty sponsor information, a résumé, an academic recommendation and an essay.

Skype interviews for qualified candidates will take place in November. Applications are due Oct. 25.

Interested students should contact internship coordinator Romeal Watson at 509-359-4637, or visit www.leg.wa.gov/internships.