I’m Laura Kelley, a third-year political science and public relations student. One of my favorite experiences through SPIA has been the GLIP internship. I have always been an experiential learner, and I must be able to apply what I’m learning in class. After taking a legislative process course with Dr. Charles Bullock, I became passionate about the Georgia General Assembly and all it encompasses. Dr. Bullock referenced the Georgia Legislative Intern Program (GLIP) in almost every class. I took a leap of faith and applied for it with the only knowledge coming from his class and my one day as a page in middle school.
After my acceptance, I went through multiple placement interviews to be put in the best-fit office. With the help of Dr. Audrey Haynes, my GLIP advisor, and Stacy Perry, director of Senate interns, I was placed in the majority caucus leadership office under Senator Larry Walker III. Working in this office was the highlight of my internship. I interacted daily with lobbyists and constituents, wrote legislation, and performed basic intern tasks such as making coffee. Since Sen. Walker is the Insurance and Labor Committee chairman, I helped prepare for meetings, research legislation, and regularly sat in on committee meetings. Although the Committee on Insurance and Labor is not my expertise, it opened the doors to meet leaders in multiple departments. Additionally, Sen. Walker welcomed me to follow him to many events and meetings. I will always cherish our talks analyzing how certain positions work together.
A day in my life as an intern started by commuting from Athens to Atlanta, listening to Politically Georgia to review the previous day in session. Then, the other interns and I would help host the morning caucus meeting. Throughout the day, I would run around papers, write letters to constituents and other committee leaders, and host luncheons for the lobbyists. At the end of the day, I balanced college and life by going home to my sorority in Athens and hanging out with friends. My favorite day during the internship was Sine Die, the last legislative session day, because we celebrated all the legislation passed, including the one I was tracking for my term paper that passed in the last two minutes.
The GLIP Internship gave me the connections, experiences, and friends I would never have received anywhere else. Working with interns from schools throughout the state has given me lifelong friendships. I got to have hands-on experience that taught me the workings of politics. And most importantly, it has strengthened my desire to work in state government one day.