Texas House of Representatives, Rep. Jerry Madden
Spring 2011 Site Review
Position: Capitol Legislative Intern
Student: Sociology Junior
I interned at the Texas State Capitol in the House of Representatives this semester. Specifically, I worked for Representative Madden, his legislative aide, and his head of corrections. For the most part, I conversed with his legislative aide, Mark, and his head of corrections, Marsha. There were ten interns including myself, but at the very most there were four in the office at one time.
We were told before we made our final schedules that we can work as much as we can, and that the more we put into it, the more we would get out of it. I made my schedule as available as possible and consequently worked every Monday and Friday 10-5. The other interns work schedules ranged from 3 hours a week to 25 hours a week. I definitely put in as much time as I could handle while being a full time student. The work atmosphere at the capitol is very business-like. Everyone dresses in business casual attire and speaks formally to one another.
A typical work day for me can be described as waking up between eight and eight thirty, and leaving the house by 9:30. I park in the state personnel parking garage and walk about two to three blocks to the capitol depending on which garage I park in. When I enter the office, I log into my state account, checking my emails and the schedule for the day. I usually begin my work day with emails forwarded to me from Mark from concerned constituents. I reply to all the emails by telling them what the Representative’s stance is on the matter and where the bill is in legislation, and then see what else is going on in the office. There could be mail that needs to be opened which could involve filing or putting events in the calendar. We receive an ample amount of invitations to various things from free lunch presented by a certain lobbyist group, private events that only members are invited to, and several letters from the public supporting or opposing different bills being heard in committee. If there is no mail to tend to I ask if the other interns need any help with their tasks.
Really, you simply do whatever Mark and Marsha ask of you. It could be anything from running a bill down to the clerks to be filed, copying papers, going to committee hearings and taking notes, speaking to a lobbyist, or going to get lunch for the office. Also throughout the day, a large part of what we do is answer phone calls. The phone is always ringing; most cases it is people trying to get in touch with the Representative, Mark, Marsha, or it is constituents calling to put in their thoughts on a certain bill.