Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Texas Office of the Governor

Summer 2017

Position: Texas Governor's Fellowship Program
Student: Government Sophomore

This summer I was an intern at The Texas Office of the Governor as I was a part of the Governor’s Fellowship Program. My office was in the Texas State Insurance Building at The Capital in Austin. As a graduate from The University of Texas at Austin, our Governor Greg Abbott understands the importance of work experience for both academics and also for students’ resumes. I was among many interns at the Governor’s Office ranging from undergraduate level students to students that were in law school or already graduated. Many of the interns at the office shared some of the same duties but we were each assigned to the different divisions that make up the staff of the Governor. Just like the President has his cabinet members, the Governor has his own staff members that run offices that take care of many of his policy sections. I happened to be assigned to the Budget and Policy division under Director of Policy, Drew Deberry and Director of Budget, Steven Albright. My floor contained staff members who each had their own policy divisions such as water, healthcare, environment, and many more. My typical day started out with checking my email in the morning for different projects and tasks that could have been sent to me by these policy staffers. I would usually be asked to research the history that a policy held in Texas Legislature and how it was handled in years in the past. Based on how well or how poorly the policy passed in legislature would allow me to organize a clear overview for the policymakers of Greg Abbott’s staff to write their own policy and meet the needs of the Texas people.

As a Government major, I have always had aspirations of attending law school and becoming either an attorney or a serviceman for our state or national legislature. But after interning at capital I now truly know that government is something I could enjoy working in for the rest of my life. Working on a daily basis with some our state’s greatest legislature and working with policy makers that worked directly with Greg Abbott was an experience I couldn’t have even dreamed of getting anywhere else. This may come off as a redundant statement but before this internship I had no idea how truly “political” government was. By this I mean I had no idea about the extensive hoops that legislators and policy makers have to jump through to get what they want accomplished. Just from being in the office I could see just how many people across the state and even the nation the Governor would have to please in order to slightly get going in the right direction for a policy that he wanted and felt passionately about. The amount of effort and willpower it took to get the smallest thing done in politics made me so interested in how the rest of it all worked.

This job taught me that in government there will always be someone benefitting off of your gain and always someone getting the short end of the stick at the same time. Most people would be startled by this and find it overwhelming but I found it absolutely fascinating and it motivated me to learn more and more about the infrastructure of our state government and the brilliant people that hold it together. This internship taught me that I have the leadership as well as disputative qualities to be a member of the Texas Government and that my interests align perfectly with those that seek to make our state a better place through policymaking. My experience at the Texas Governor’s Office will stick with me as I continue my studies in Government and will drive me to pursue future internships and jobs for many different positions at the Texas Capital.

Spring 2017  

Position: Policy Internship
Student: Government Junior

My internship is with the Lieutenant Governor’s Policy Office. More specifically, I work under Julie Frank (Intergovernmental Relations Policy Advisor), Aaron Kocian (Transportation Policy Advisor), Jennifer Rabb (Tax Policy Advisor), and Joaquin Guadarrama (Deputy Budget Director). Our office is in the basement in the capital and is rather secluded from the regular on-goings of day-to-day life. This is particularly nice because unlike a regular legislator’s office, we do not have to deal with constituents walking in and demanding meeting with staff. This location also provides easy access to the Senate floor, as there is an elevator outside our office door, and to the exits.

Each morning, my fellow interns and I arrive around 8:30am. It is our job to ensure that all the printers are filled with paper and to make to coffee in the kitchen. Most of the time, we are beat to the coffee pot by the Education Policy Advisor, who arrives at 5:30am. After the printers are filled and the coffee is made, we read through the legislative clips and wait for our supervisors to arrive. If we are lucky, there is enough time to walk to the Capital Grill and grab some breakfast tacos. Once my supervisor has arrived, we start reading bills and setting up meetings with legislative staff. Depending on the day, however, once my supervisor has arrived, we may head to the IGR committee hearing room and wait for the committee to be gaveled in. During committee, I am there to serve as a resource to my supervisor about the bills being heard. Before committee, I am responsible for printing notes for the meeting and getting them to my supervisor. On days that committee does not meet, I am tasked with watching house committees where companions to bills in IGR have been sent. If I am not working with the IGR advisor, I am trying to prevent the Transportation Advisor from breaking the technology around the office. As session trudges toward the end, I am often finding that I am leaving later and later. There is no set time to leave from the office, during session. During the beginning of session, I was able to leave around 5:00pm, but as it has progressed I am leaving at 6:30-7:00pm. Although the hours have gotten seeming longer, there is never a shortage of work. If someone were going to intern in the Lieutenant Governor’s office, the best advice I could offer would be is to be prepared to work. 

Spring 2014 

Position: Texas Governor’s Fellowship Intern, Division of Economics Expansion
Student: Economics Senior

An internship with the Office of the Governor Division of Economic Expansion and Recruitment is filled with really nice people who make you feel comfortable to ask question and have a relaxed work environment. When you first come into the office you are greeted by everyone you walk past and are given some time to settle into your office space. Your supervisor may have a stack of new projects that will need to be put into the computer and a hard copy file created. Foreign and domestic companies that wish to relocate to Texas or are just thinking about it and trying to see what their options are contact this division. It is the office’s responsibility to help these companies find out what incentives the state and local governments can offer them to make coming to Texas more incentivized. Some companies have multiple states that they are looking into so this money helps Texas more competitive.

As an intern we are on the front lines when these companies contact us; as mentioned before you will create files for these new projects and sometimes talk with the companies and local governments where they will be locating. Your co-workers understand that you don’t know everything about the incentives offered so they won’t place you into any position that is too serious but they will also help push you to learn more while you are there. Along with these primary daily tasks, you will also have other jobs such as updating contact information and gathering company information for the recruitment team who must go on road shows and help recruit companies to come to Texas. Overall it was a nice relaxing place to work and get used to an office setting.

Spring 2014 

Position: Texas Governor’s Fellowship Intern, Criminal Justice Division
Student: Sociology Junior

The Criminal Justice Division (CJD) promotes strategies that improve and support criminal justice efforts across Texas by directing funding to first responders and service providers through the administration of grants from a variety of state and federal sources. Resources are dedicated towards programs that protect people from crime, reduce the number of crimes committed, respond to the needs of crime victims and promote accountability, efficiency, and effectiveness within the criminal justice system. That being said, your efforts in this position as an intern will be to help the division to more smoothly be able to continue providing services to the citizens of Texas.

As an intern for the CJD Division you will take on the role of an administrative assistant. You will deal with phones, mail, scheduling, calendars and specified projects as they arise. You will work 20 hours a week, the days and hours you work are dependent on you. A typical day in CJD is about 4-5 hours if you work everyday. If you work every other day you will have an 8-hour day. Typically you will check in with your supervisor upon arrival, turn on your desktop, check emails, check division’s schedule (to see who will be in or out of the office), and work on your specific tasks. The Executive Assistant will be the one to assign you to a project.

This past semester I worked with Crime Stopper Interns and a Juvenile Justice Intern. Each of the intern’s responsibility was to help organize the documentation of the programs. They did so through scanning, uploading, saving, and compiling into the right documentation into folders-paper and electronic. In the upcoming semester interns will focus on the tasks that were not completed and also work on putting together the Star of Texas Award Ceremony along with an Ethics Presentation for the CJD Division Director.

Spring 2013 

Position: Texas Governor’s Fellowship Intern- Committee for People with Disabilities
Student: History Junior

I am assuming right now that the person reading this is currently looking at various internship opportunities.  I think that a little background information about myself is first necessary to help you understand if this internship is actually right for you. I am a third year history major with a minor in government. Every summer up until this one, I have worked at camps as a camp counselor and a lifeguard. This summer, I decided that it was time for a you can say, “real world job,” and decided to look into an internship that met my future career interests. I want to be a lawyer and I thought that working for the Office of the Governor would be a great stepping stool to learn about the law. So, first things first, if you are looking for a job that will boost your resume and further your opportunities, look no further. If, however, you do not necessarily care about the prestige and would rather gain a more hands on internship, then I would encourage you to apply somewhere else.

When you first apply to this position, you have to choose which office you would like to work with. I requested to work with the Governor’s Committee for People with Disabilities, because I have worked with people with disabilities before and I am interested in helping their cause. There are about 8 different offices to choose from and the topics of the office vary greatly. If you are admitted into the program, they will allow you to pick if you would rather work the morning or the afternoon shift. I don’t know how it is for all offices, but my office was extremely flexible with me about the days I worked and how many hours I worked per week.

When I come in the office, I generally read e-mails and respond to messages that were left for me from the morning. I will then generally then talk to my co-workers and will ask them what they need me to do. Some days, they will have me compile charts and work on various small projects that might require an intern’s help. Most days, I work on a project that they assigned to me at the beginning of the summer. I am currently compiling a list of all of the Americans with Disabilities Act coordinators for each county, state agency, and city. This has entailed calling every county, state agency, and city in Texas and getting the contact information of the officials that work for the county. This work is not particularly meaningful to me, but I know it will be helpful and useful down the road.

This internship provides a great opportunity if you want to work in government or go on to law school or a school for public affairs. You will be able to gain some necessary knowledge of how Texas politics work. I strongly urge you to consider all of your options, but I believe that you will greatly enjoy your experience working at the Office of the Governor.

Spring 2009 

Student: Government Senior
Position: Texas Governor’s Fellowship Intern

A typical day for me participating in the Texas Governor’s Fellowship Program might very well be different from any other student participating in the same program. Even though there are over thirty fellows, we are all dispersed among the different divisions of the Office of the Governor Rick Perry. I for example, work in the Economic Development and Tourism Division and more specifically, with the Domestic Expansion and Recruitment Team.

My schedule was broken down into four-hour shifts, five days a week, for a total of twenty hours. This is the amount of hours mandated by the program. I would start the shift usually by checking my email at work, checking for any assignments or projects from my co-workers. Often times, I will have emails forwarded to me by them; the information in these emails often times have to be documented to input into the project database. I would read these emails and summarize the information, and then input into the database.

Another task that I got into the routine of doing was helping assemble promotional material for upcoming presentations. This material could be anything from shirts with company logos, to preparing packets of pertinent information to consultants, to packaging items for upcoming trips.

Making phone calls and sending emails to various people around the state is something that I found myself doing a lot – this helped refine my communication skills. I would contact these various people with the goal of learning more information about a particular project, or to request updates from previous projects. Finally, like most interns, I also had the duties of making copies and organizing or filing office supplies and office documents.

The bulk of my internship activities revolved around helping in the various steps that are necessary when the state of Texas offers incentives to companies to expand here in our very own state.

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