The Best Lessons

Posted on Thursday, Apr 18, 2019

I came into this internship honestly not knowing much of anything about the political climate in Texas.  Sure, I listened to NPR podcasts occasionally... And I made sure to re-watch “How a Bill Becomes a Law,” which is a product of the renowned film known by the name of Schoolhouse Rock.  But other than that, I was generally clueless when it came to anything that had to do with the job I was about to take on.  It is worth noting that through all of this I wasn’t bracing myself to hurt, I was preparing myself to learn. 

And wow, have I learned a whole lot.  I can now stumble through written statute adequately, I can summarize extremely well, and I have a much greater capacity to lead a team than I ever have before.  I was placed underneath two leaders who did everything in their power to help me succeed.  They have given me abundant opportunities, but not without instruction and guidance every step of the way.  That was honestly one of the things that I loved the most about this job, being able to watch good leaders in action.  I suppose this isn’t too surprising, considering I am a management major.  Though what I found that I love to bring people together and see them through to success.  I don’t mean just building up a soccer team.  I mean figuring out what makes people tick and encouraging them through the finish line.  I am a steadfast believer that people are the deciding factor between success and failure.  Sure, outside factors can have an enormous influence, but it is ultimately down to the person when it’s all said and done.  So what makes up the difference between my failure and your success?  What from our surroundings affected you in a different way than it affected me? 

This interest goes much farther than inter-office observations, it delves through the inner workings of public policy and all that surrounds it.  I came into this internship looking to learn, but this was not the lesson I expected to find.  I knew I had interest in this sort of thing, but if it were not for my supervisors, I would’ve missed a large portion of this.  I am very lucky to have been part of a program that prepared me to learn anything from this experience, not just how to read statute. 

Grace Binger
Office of State Senator Dawn Buckingham
Austin, Texas | spring 2019