Written by J.K. Devine

After finishing two virtual internships, University of North Georgia (UNG) student Giselle Simental was ready to focus on her final semester. Instead, the senior pursuing degrees in political science and modern languages will find herself working as an intern at the state Capitol during the 2021 legislative session.

“I wasn’t looking for anything new,” Simental said. “Dr. Sarah Young, assistant professor of political science, reached out to me and told me about the program. It was my last chance to apply because I will graduate soon. I thought, ‘What can I lose?'”

The Gainesville, GA native didn’t lose. Simental and UNG junior Naumi Vate of Dawsonville, GA, were selected for the highly competitive Georgia Legislative Internship Program (GLIP).

“I haven’t had a hands-on experience like this because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Simental said. “I’m nervous and anxious. This internship will help me understand where I’m heading after I graduate, because the political science field is broad.”

Dr. Stephen Northam, lecturer of political science and international affairs and UNG’s coordinator of GLIP, said being selected is quite a feat and honor.

“It is only open to juniors and seniors, and they are selected from schools throughout the University System of Georgia,” he said. “UNG interns are highly praised and several have found employment with the state of Georgia or legislators through their experiences.”

Since the 2017 Georgia legislative session, UNG has had 12 candidates selected as legislative interns.