This week’s La Follette student intern experience comes from Agathe Merle. Agathe is a second year MIPA student and this past summer she interned with both Senator Mark Udall, and the Colorado Lt. Governor, Joseph Garcia. Agathe worked on immigration and veteran’s affairs with Senator Udall, and on a homelessness project for Lt. Governor Garcia. She also created a very impressive presentation on her homelessness research (the link is below).
Here are Agathe’s experiences in her own words:
What I had to do was to look for all the beds available in Colorado for people who are homeless. I could not find this type of information online so I had to call all the different shelters and dwellings throughout Colorado to find how many different beds were/are available in Colorado for homeless people. It took a long time and it was sometimes hard to get answers (for instance for the domestic violence shelters, they don’t want everyone to know where they are). After I found the different numbers I presented them using Prezi (a program similar to PowerPoint). I discovered it this year and it is a great tool! There was no complete and accurate list of available shelters for the homeless, so I made some recommendations regarding the list of available resources and created one. The work was somewhat tedious and trying to find all the information and putting it in one file was difficult. However, I really liked my internship (with the Lt. Governor’s office) because I got to do a lot of things on my own. The policy adviser told me what he wanted and I went and did the research on my own.
The other internship at the Senator’s office was different. I worked with two case managers, one dealing with immigration, and another with veterans affairs. We had cases of constituents who needed help and we had to follow a similar pattern to help them. Usually, we sent inquiries to the agencies that the constituents were having issues with, and then told the constituents what we found. It was more team work in this office compared to the Lt. Governor’s office.
Overall, I liked both internships! I feel like I have learned a lot. The internship with the Lt Governor was more policy-related, however, the one with Udall was nice too.