Waynedale Political Commentaries



Learning experience allows ‘unique behind-the-scene view of democracy in action’

Indiana Senate Republicans are seeking college interns for the 2011 legislative session – a learning experience that offers a “unique behind-the-scene view of democracy in action.”

Applications for the four-month, Indianapolis-based paid internships are available online at www.senaterepublicans.in.gov/internship.htm and due on October 31.

Graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in state government should apply now for a spring internship with the Indiana Senate Majority Caucus. All academic majors are welcome with some intern positions being especially appealing to students studying communications, criminal justice, business, education, health, history, photography, political science, public relations and telecommunications, among others.

Qualified candidates should have successful academic backgrounds and will be teamed with full-time press secretaries and legislative assistants.

Interns are invited to attend the General Assembly’s ceremonial Organization Day in mid-November and officially begin their internships with an orientation at the end of December. The internships last the duration of the legislative session, which by law is scheduled to end by April 29.

Students should plan to live in or near Indianapolis, because of the varied work schedule. A $700 bi-weekly stipend is paid to help interns with expenses.

Communications interns will gain practical experience in helping prepare and distribute news releases, guest columns, letters to the editor, direct mail, e-newsletters, e-invitations, web updates, radio feeds, pod-casts and video productions. Legislative interns will work alongside senators and legislative assistants in responding to constituent calls, letters and e-mails, as well as staffing Senate committees and assisting with floor proceedings.

•College Credit

Academic credit for the internship varies from college to college and is determined by academic advisors. Interns often arrange correspondence or independent courses. A three-credit-hour state government course, conducted at the Statehouse throughout the session, is available to all interns.

•Scholarship Opportunities

At the end of each year’s legislative session, Verizon Communications offers a $3,000 scholarship to the top intern from each of the caucuses – Republican and Democrat. Additionally, each caucus awards a $1,000 scholarship in memory of longtime Senate staffer Rick Gudal.

•Comments from previous interns

Interns who have served in previous sessions describe the environment as “fast-paced and dynamic.” One student said the experience “brought to life what my professors taught me.” Another gained “incredible insight” on key issues affecting the state by helping track legislation during a session. Still another said the experience taught her that decisions made at the Statehouse impact all Hoosier communities, large and small.

“I really enjoyed the learning experience because it gave me a new perspective on Indiana state government,” a previous intern said. “I got to see senators work together and compromise to create new laws and policies that impact Hoosiers – including college students. It made me realize what happens here affects me.”

•Fort Wayne participation high

In the past two legislative sessions, as many as seven of the Senate Majority Caucus interns have come from the Fort Wayne area, including last year’s Verizon scholarship winner Alex Miller. Another participant in the internship program from Fort Wayne, Mike Brown, is now a Senate employee. Hopefully, more students in the Fort Wayne area will take advantage of this opportunity and the doors it may open for them in the future.

•More Information

For more information about internships with the Indiana Senate Republicans, students may contact Jennifer Carlton, intern coordinator, by calling her toll-free at 800-382-9467.

Sen. David Long (R-Fort Wayne) is President Pro Tem of the Indiana Senate. He serves District 16, which includes portions of Fort Wayne

David Long - IN Dist. 16 Senator

David is a former Republican member of the Indiana State Senate representing the 16th district which encompasses Waynedale. He served as the President Pro Tempore of the Indiana State Senate. David writes the "Straight From The Senate" column for the newspaper. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer