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Junior reflects on internship at Missouri State Capitol

May 5, 2014

By Amber Surdam/Stephens College senior
Stephens junior Emily Marchant admits she never thought politicians had much of a sense of humor, but her internship this semester revealed the truth—politicians aren’t the rigid people she thought they were.

In fact, Rep. Jeff Pogue, R-Salem, and Rep. Randy Pike, R-Adrian, are laid-back and friendly, said Marchant, who is interning in their office at the Missouri House of Representatives in Jefferson City this semester.

“My first day at the capitol shocked me,” she said. “I expected to be in a stern setting, but I found the representatives’ office to be a comfortable environment in which to work.”

Tomorrow is Marchant’s last day of her internship, which she began in January after securing it through the career services office at Stephens. Her job consists of answering phones, writing grant letters and speaking with citizens from multiple districts. Hearing about people’s concerns and helping them with their situations has been eye opening, she said.

“I see now how important representatives are to a community,” Marchant said.

A native of Oregon, Marchant found Stephens through a visit from an admissions counselor. She wanted to attend a liberal arts college, but found that ones near her were out of her price range. 
At Stephens, she’s worked on Stephens Life, the student-run magazine; served on the staff of Creative Ink, the student-run marketing firm; and this year was co-editor of Harbinger, the award-winning literary journal.

She is graduating in December with a degree in integrated media, which she hopes to use to return to the capitol as a legislative assistant.

“I never realized I’d want to be a legislative assistant,” she said. “I didn’t consider it going in, but I really enjoy the work and the environment.”

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