Today is my last day interning with Students United, and the natural conclusion to such a gratifying experience is, of course, to write a blog post. I started with Students United this past January and have been serving as the Government Relations Intern. This internship has been a huge learning experience for me, as someone coming in with moderate to minimum knowledge about the inner workings of Minnesota State and the Minnesota legislation process in general, each day interning with Students United provided new knowledge, experience, and insight. Below are my top 10 highlights from this internship:
1. Speaking on a panel with Lt. Governor Tina Smith at St. Cloud State University to discuss the importance of the Minnesota State Grant this past February
2. Walking with other students on the last day of the “100 Mile Fund the Future Walk” to advocate for higher education affordability
3. Testifying in both the Minnesota state house and senate higher education finance committees in support of a bill focusing on loan forgiveness for students moving to the greater Minnesota area
4. Attending a Minnesota State Board of Trustees meeting
5. Doing an interview with INFORUM about my personal experience as a recipient of the Minnesota State Grant
6. Researching student fees and realizing how many great organizations and programs they fund
7. Helping with in-kind donation requests for the Penny Golf Scramble and seeing all the donations that generous companies are giving
8. Setting up Advocacy Day meetings with legislators at the capitol for students to meet with to discuss the importance of higher education
9. Making a fact sheet on then Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVoss with an emphasis on her stance on higher education policy after a call from Senator Al Franken’s office
10. Meeting all the wonderful staff and students involved with Students United!
All of these experiences have been so fun and fulfilling- they have inspired me to continue working with legislation, government, and policy. My future plans are to complete a year of service through AmeriCorps-VISTA in Duluth with the Zeitgeist Center for Arts & Community. Students United has been so welcoming to me these past five months, and I am so grateful for this organization not just as an intern but as a previous student. Now that I have completed my undergraduate degree I hope to stay involved with Students United as an alum by continuing to email legislators through action alerts, by attending future events, and by supporting other students who are involved with Students United as they work to improve higher education for all students. I would highly recommend this internship for any student who wants to get involved with making impactful change in the state of Minnesota!