My internship at ABU was the best part of my summer. I began applying for internships too late in the school year, and I was not optimistic about finding a good one. I sent an e-mail to ABU, and Josh, Maddie, and Chase quickly responded to arrange an interview. I was very lucky to find Better Utah. Not only do I support the principles that drive the organization, but I was also able to personalize my work with issues I find most important.
I attended a staff meeting on the first day of the job. Interns are not insulated from the big decisions and strategies of the organization. This made the internship different from any other jobs I’ve had. I had not been exposed to the complexities of public outreach, budgeting, and defining clear goals. That is not to mention the difficult nature of politics. ABU is relatively small, and I was very impressed by the teamwork required to make us effective.
I would say that my primary intern duties were research, writing, communication, and event preparation. During the summer, I attended legislative committee meetings on education and criminal justice reforms, which I summarized in a blog post. I drafted GRAMA requests for certain government departments to promote transparency. I attended a board meeting and observed the interactions of some influential Utahans. I arranged a meeting with the head of the Department of Environmental Quality. I researched law codes and government policies and created memos. I wrote an op-ed that was printed in the Salt Lake Tribune.
Staff members Chase and Maddie made me look forward to coming to work. They are very easygoing, but they expect a high quality of work. They are highly competent and will answer any questions or offer assistance. They also think they are funny, and sometimes they are right. Josh and Matt are supportive of the interns, and made sure that our time was well spent. When I wrote my op-ed, fellow interns, staff members, Josh, and even board members read it closely and gave me valuable input. This is the type of team that I was proud to be a part of this summer.