This summer Rachael Green, a second-year law student, has been interning with our firm. Before she leaves us to head back to school, I asked her to share some thoughts on her time at MLC.
I went a different route when applying for internships during my first summer in law school, by applying to a lobbying firm instead of a law firm or prosecutor’s office. Prior to this summer, I did not have a deep knowledge about lobbying, but it intrigued me. It has turned out to be the best decision for my career that I could have made. Being surrounded by such intelligent, perceptive, and eager teachers was easily the highlight of my experience. As I walked out at the end of my first week, I remember the text I sent some friends; “forget corporate law, I want to be a lobbyist.”
My internship created a myriad of different hats to wear. I worked directly with clients, conducted research, briefed new policy, worked on strategy for clients, wrote reports, attended committee meetings, took meeting notes, ran typical intern errands, and some days, easily walked 20,000 work-related steps. I was not affronted when asked to run an errand or do non-lobbying or non-policy work, I was there to learn, but I was also there to make the lives of my superiors easier. I especially enjoyed sitting in on different committee meetings and seeing the different parties that took interest in legislation. The arguments that parties and witnesses made would cause me at times to reconsider my personal stance on policy. This was one of my favorite aspects of experiencing the policy development process.
This position has taught me the value of a relationship and reinforced the importance of what you exude and how you present yourself. Professionalism was something I learned early in school, and I have carried it with me. Dress for the part you want, always be respectful, pay attention to details and names, and remember that your name, credibility and work ethic are your value as an intern and future employee. I went into every experience at work with a realistic view, knowing that I knew next to nothing compared to the lobbyists I worked with. I made sure to absorb and listen to everything I could, even if I didn’t agree with it. I had a very short amount of time to make a lasting impression, and I was determined to leave a positive and professional impression with everyone I interacted with.
This was one of the most rewarding experiences in my life, I truly hit the jackpot of internships. The respect, the dedication, the drive, and the passion that the lobbyists and employees at MLC have for the industry, their clients, their work, and each other is amazing, and I will forever be grateful that those attributes were extended to me during my time here.
Michigan Legislative Consultants is a bipartisan lobbying firm based in Lansing, Michigan. Our team of lobbyists and procurement specialists provide a wide range of services for some of the most respected companies in America. For more on MLC, visit www.mlcmi.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.