Sine Die is Coming

Posted on Monday, May 15, 2017

While I sit around 1:30 am to witness the 13 hour amending of the budget in the House I can’t help but reflect on my surroundings. The place I get to call work and the people I have gotten to meet. I have learned so much more in these past couple of months about my future and my career than I had my 3 semesters of major course workload. This is not to say that my professors weren’t knowledgeable on their fields, (I hold them in the highest regard and I have sent some fan girl emails about their outside research) or that my classes did not challenge me, I have gotten my fair share of late nights and office hour sessions. Yet, there is nothing that compares to the complete immersion of a full-time internship.

I am constantly placed in situations that demand a holistic point of view in certain issues. I interact with people throughout the capitol that hold completely different opinions from each other and create a ranging spectrum of ideas. I’ve had to apply knowledge on absolutely every aspect of a citizen’s agenda to analyze what would be the outcome of a certain bill passage. Health care, border security, sales tax, educational funding, historical preservation, driving laws are all discussed inside the chamber of the Texas Senate. These decisions will affect the lives of every Texas for the rest of their lives, or at least until the upcoming legislative session.

This has not only been an incredible experience for my career goals but it has matured to see the world with a broader mindset and a desire to be a better, more involved Texan today and every day. The key is finding out what piece of the puzzle I am, where do I fit in this world of politics, advocacy, and lobbying. I am not completely sure where these points of views, multiple sides, ideas, and debates will take me but one thing I am sure of; I want to do everything I can to serve the greater good of this state and its people. At the moment I don’t know what agency I may work for or where I stand with every bill argued but through all the newspaper clips I’ve read and the research I’ve done I know there is no such thing as enough knowledge. I won’t become a complete expert in all Texas politics in one session, and I am okay with that. There is something sweet about the quenching curiosity of not knowing it all but wanting to find out more. Plus, it for the excuse to come back and learn about the different controversies and arguments that will arise in the sessions to come.

I know the pursuit of knowledge and the fueling of my passion for public policy would not be possible if it was not for all those Aggies who in one way or another, have paved the path for me to have the cubicle I sit on today. I am so thankful for their support through those radiant smiles and words of encouragement as soon as they find out I am one of the family. There’s also something to be said about the handful of invitations to fancy receptions with exquisite food and incredible entertainment. It is cliché but you must give honor where honor is due therefore Texas A&M I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for you. All I can do is live to the legacy you have laid before me and continue to make you proud.

Valentina Tovar
Office of Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar
Austin, Texas | spring 2017