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My Experience in the Michigan House of Representatives

Jenelle

Experience Information

Employer: Michigan House of Representatives
Job Title: Legislative Assistant
Major: International Relations
Received Credit?: Yes
Paid?: No

Description of the Organization

The Michigan House of Representatives, located in the capitol of Lansing, is one of three branches of state government, modeled after the United States Federal Government system. The Michigan House of Representatives is one of two bodies of the Legislative branch of the State government. The other legislative body is the Michigan Senate.

Description of the Tasks/Projects Completed

I assisted State Representative, Aric Nesbitt in his daily operations and I also assisted his legislative aides. I completed clerical tasks such as filing constituent data, answering the telephones, taking messages, and so forth. I also helped put together tributes for outstanding constituents who accomplished great achievements or received awards. I would also have to go to Governor Rick Snyder's office to get his signature on the tributes. I helped to write memos and speeches for Representative Nesbitt that he used at events and committee meetings. I helped inform the Representative about subjects by researching them and writing up brief summaries about the issues, and subjects. I responded to constituents. Finally, I attended committee meetings and legislative sessions to observe and learn about the political process.

Skills/Knowledge Gained Through The Experience

I gained computer program and database skills. I learned how to use the Lotus Approach QVF and Communications system that the Representatives use to keep track of constituent responses and concerns, and to track down addresses and contact information for their constituents. I improved and gained clerical skills from frequently answering the phones, filing, and so forth. I gained oral and written communication skills from frequently writing to constituents, and writing memos and speeches for the Representative I assisted. I gained a vast amount of knowledge concerning the political process of how bills are drafted, reviewed, and either rejected or passed to be voted on in Lansing.

Favorite Part of the Experience

My favorite part was being in the center of an upbeat exciting political environment in an important and historical election year. I saw many rallies, protests, and heard excellent testimonies from citizens passionate about their causes and their beliefs. I learned a lot about the political process.

How the Experience Influenced Future Career Goals

I believe this experience has influenced me to gain more experience in the real-world before becoming involved in politics. More experience will make you a better politician and less likely to choose a stance based simply on party loyalty but rather an informed and smart decision-maker and leader.

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of GVSU.

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