This summer I am working in the Office of Governor Ned Lamont in Constituent Services and External Affairs.
I started my internship about 2-3 weeks ago. Since we are not allowed in the building the experience is a little less than what I was expecting to get. Normally, we would have physical letters to go through, and proclamations to create, however, there is nowhere for anyone to mail in to and no machines to print proclamations. Therefore, we just sort emails all day.
A lot of people have many concerns during this time, ranging from COVID to police brutality. So far I’ve learned to respond to several types of emails on my own, one of them being people who have yet to receive their unemployment checks. I get about 100 emails to go through a week and if there are any I feel like I can’t respond to, my supervisor and I go over them together and he gives me further instructions. I’m actually getting to a point where he wants me to start drafting responses for myself and having him look over it. I just have to get used to the language used by the office and learn a lot more solutions.
One example of that is creating a “case”. This is when a constituent has emailed us with a problem significant enough for a course of action. I then would have to go online and create this case where I’m sending the email directly to a person who can solve this constituent’s problem. That said, our mission is to get through as many emails as possible so that we can help people with their problems in these rough times. Here is a website we send constituents for updates.
My goal by the end of this summer program is to familiarize myself with the different components of local government. When I went for my training back in December, the people in the office taught me so much about the local government it was crazy. I had no idea how oblivious I was to what my local government does due to the fact that everyone always has an eye on federal politics. However, I believe that if people want the machine that is the government to start working in their favor, they must master local politics. When I say master I mean become educated about its components and then utilizing them: emailing the governor, going to open sessions, protesting in the lobby, etc.
I chose to look for an internship in my city because, hopefully, when I become a lawyer, I want to work back home where I can help my people. This internship will not only get my foot in the door but it will give me a lot of the knowledge I need to eventually be able to make a change in my community. My supervisor is also pretty nice, he gives me a lot of room to ask questions and he works with me a lot to make sure I’m situated.