Wisconsin State Senator Jeff Smith

Internship Location: Madison WI

Organization Type: State Government

Policy Areas: Health care, child care, environment, and education

I had an amazing experience interning for Wisconsin State Senator Jeff Smith’s office this summer! I learned a lot about issues affecting the rural district Senator Smith represents and about the state of Wisconsin overall. Some of the issues I learned the most about during my internship were public education in Wisconsin, child care, environmental issues, and healthcare. I also got to sit in on caucus meetings and go over to the campaign building. The skills that I have been learning at La Follette have helped me with research I have conducted during my internship. Through various public policy courses, I have learned to conduct thorough research and try to predict as many potential questions as possible. Something that surprised me was how close all the staffers are in my office, and that closeness also spread to the interns. The office had a very casual environment, and communication was open. This made me and the other interns feel both supported and welcome in the office and made this summer such an enjoyable experience because I could actually grow professional relationships with the staffers and other interns. The most valuable part of the internship experience for me was growing my confidence in who I am as an employee. I was nervous at the start of the summer that I wasn’t going to be useful or maybe I wouldn’t be able to accurately conduct the research that the office needed, but that was far from the truth. I would recommend an internship with Senator Smith or at another office in the Capitol to any student who is interested in working for the government. I have had a great experience and grew my passion for state government. The internship made me think about what potential career paths I could go down in my future, including being interested in working on a campaign and even becoming a staffer.