Intern Corner – Are Interns Like Sharks?

Tyler Anderson

By Tyler Anderson, Intern for Senate Minority Leader Ross Romero

I don’t mean are we are large, aquatic, and viciously predatory? –Although certainly when we smell the possibility of free food we do rapaciously circle lobbyists’ tables. This week we had McDonalds.

Instead I am referring to the fact that for most sharks, in order to breathe, they must be continually swimming at all times. If they don’t move, they drown.

For interns here on Utah Capitol Hill, work comes in floods and develops its own internal momentum. When I am busy, buried under the weight of constituent letters/emails or swimming through a sea of bill-files on subjects like immigration or single parent adoption, I am filled with a sense of control and purpose. I know what I am doing here (serving my legislator) and happy to be doing it. Unlike other internship opportunities, my fellow interns and I came to Capitol Hill this session knowing that we would be paid less than we would working in the private sector, and, moreover, we would not be offered jobs at the end of the session. Ultimately, Utah has a part time legislature with limited employment opportunities.

Most of the time this knowledge doesn’t bother me. I am happy to be serving the state of Utah, and I love working for my legislator and the Democratic caucus. However, sometimes the work is slow and I am left in existential crisis. What am I doing here? Talking to other interns I know that none of us are totally alienated from this feeling: fruitlessly searching for extra work and feeling at times frustratingly underemployed. Like sharks, as interns we are full of potential that, in the very nature of the work we do sometimes goes unexploited.

Fortunately, this feeling never lasts, and shortly I am again inundated with work. Speaking of which, I think I have some to go do.

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