You’ve heard of lobbying and lobbyists, but have you ever wondered about the type of work that happens behind the scenes that makes lobbying a unique and exciting career?
As a lobbyist, you serve as an intermediary between the client and legislators in an attempt to influence legislation. A client can be private or nonprofit. The lobbyist’s goal is to help the clients achieve their legislative goals, such as a tax credit or more funding in a section of the budget, through bill proposal, amendment, and passage. Lobbyists can work solo, in partnership, and in firms. Often, they will work physically in proximity to legislative quarters like the state capital. To balance the workload of analyzing bills and communicating with legislators and clients alike, lobbyists frequently hire interns for legislative sessions.
Last Spring, I worked as a legislative intern for a lobbying and public relations firm in Hartford, CT. Some of my job duties included drafting a weekly email newsletter to help clients stay updated on the weekly legislative news. I also tracked bills’ progression using online software and recorded notes on hearings, votes, and press conferences. Helping around the office by printing new bills and compiling broad research on client topics were additional parts of my internship. The firm I worked for also conducted press conferences, so I also gained some public relations experience. It was beneficial to see everything that goes on in a legislative session by working the legislative office building and state capital.
Legislative internships open up before every session begins in January. Check out Handshake and LinkedIn for various legislative internships. The Career Center and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences host events where students can get exposure to political internships. Political internships are also available through the Connecticut General Assembly’s Internship Program. Lastly, using LinkedIn and HuskyLink are excellent tools to get in contact with people involved in lobbying.