Texas Senate, Sen. Craig Estes
Spring 2013 Site Review
Position: Legislative Intern
Student: Geography Senior
My internship was in Senator Craig Estes’ office at the State Capitol in downtown Austin. I had various different duties as an office intern. The interns were required to be in the office at 8 am every morning, but I would usually get there early to get the coffee going and to turn everything on. Once I had the coffee going and all papers in their place, I would check the incoming mail and distribute it to the appropriate staffer. Then I would usually make sure there were no voicemails to be checked and if there were I would take down all the messages. The phones needed to be taken off forward as well at this point in the morning.
By 9 am most of the other staff members have made it into the office and the day has taken off. Through out the day, I answer phones and greet the people that walk through the door. Most of them are lobbyist or government employees coming to speak to the Senator or a staff member working on a bill. Constituents from the district will stop by frequently to say hello and talk about a special interest if they have one. The days can get busy and long, and staying on our toes is always important. The phones will ring and there will be people in the lobby waiting all at the same time.
It’s also my duty to input all messages and correspondence into CMS. This is so we can track all support or opposition to a bill, or any concerns a constituent might have. If we need to go back later and check what they wrote about we can, simply by pulling them up in CMS. I also am in charge of drafting letters to send back to the people we get incoming correspondence from. This takes up a lot of time because I have to find information of the subject and get it approved by the Legislative Director. At the end of the day, we clean everything up and shut the office down. Some nights we all go out as an office and unwind after a busy day.