PSIA Student Reflects on State House Internship
Currently, Nicholas Ives, a junior in the Political Science program, works as an intern under Representative Will Wade as part of the Georgia State House District 9 Internship. The internship offers highly-motivated UNG political science majors the opportunity to learn about public policymaking and state government while working at the Georgia State Capital as a legislative intern. The internship is sponsored by Wade’s office.
Interested in politics at an early age, Nicholas knew he wanted to work at the State Capital the moment he stepped into the building during a trip organized by the City of Suwanee’s Youth Leader program. The interenship has offered him the opportunity to delve into state politics and the legislative process he aspired to in his youth. Aiding in the legislative process, Nicholas quickly found himself able to converse about various local issues and deeply knowledgeable about specific pieces of legislation and current initiatives.
Working with legislation is only one of many tasks Nicholas fulfills as an intern. Beyond reading through legislation, Nicholas researches political initiatives both in Georgia and other states. Nicholas also fulfills constituency services and addresses local concerns, both online and in person. Meeting with local officials at events like the Dawson County Board of Education meeting or the Lincoln County Commissioners meeting, Nicholas often acts as a point of contact for local officials or a liaison between local officials and Representative Wade. Nicholas is enthusiastic about the research he conducted to aid District 9 constituents with their problems and concerns.
Over the course of the internship, Nicholas has had the opportunity to explore some of the political questions that interest him most. “[Representative Wade] asked me about any topics that I wanted to study and reapportionment was one of them,” said Nicholas. While there are always tasks to complete, Nicholas was impressed by Representative Wade’s openness and interest in Nicholas’ opinions and insight. “Representative Wade is great, because he has a great dialogue. He is…open to you expressing your own opinion and open to you saying what you want to do and what you want to research. And that’s one of the really good reasons why I like this internship, because I can explore my own interests in politics and see what I want to do while also inform- ing representative Wade.”
Ultimately, he finds the internship has done an exceptional job setting him up to fulfill his future goals in politics. In addition to the benefits of researching legislation, interacting with state and local officials, and aiding constituents with their concerns, Nicholas knows the value of building strong networks. Nicholas is confident that interning for Representative Wade has already opened up a number of avenues for him after he graduates.
When asked why he chose to study politics at UNG, Nicholas mentioned powerful figures of Georgia State politics like former Speaker of the House Tom Murphy and current Speaker of the House David Ralston who both attended the university. “You have a lot of politicians and very influential people who went here and the program itself, I don’t think it’s talked about enough, I think we have an amazing program. Our political science department and what it does for students is amazing.”