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. 

 


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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508
    512-471-7900