Will Hogsett, B.A.J. ’20, is a Legislative and Constituent Services Intern for the Indiana House Democratic Caucus at the Statehouse. Hogsett tells us about his new internship:
“Starting at the beginning of session at the turn of the new year, I was assigned to three representatives: Rep. Terri Austin from Anderson, Rep. Rita Fleming from Jeffersonville, and Rep. Earl Harris Jr. from East Chicago. I help schedule their meetings, whether it be with a lobbyist or constituents, as well as help them with their day-to-day needs in the Statehouse. I also read emails and take phone calls from constituents who need help or would like to get in touch with their representatives.
I’m still getting adjusted to the fast-paced life that is the Statehouse. The only ‘typical’ aspect in my day is to make sure that the representative’s schedule is updated and correct. Besides that, I could do things from writing letters for my reps to running amendments to the House chamber so that they are fully prepared to vote and decide on the bills currently being evaluated in the General Assembly.
I like that the internship varies from day to day. Although there is some structure, knowing that one day can be completely different from the next keeps me engaged and learning. One of the things that I learned through my experiences with IUPUI, the journalism department specifically, is the ability to adapt. You can’t go into a journalistic assignment with the story already written, as it morphs into the full picture as you observe the process. Similar to the Statehouse, you can’t walk in and expect a ‘normal’ day. Having an understanding that things change throughout the day, and having to choose what to prioritize, are all things that my journalistic background helped to enforce.
I also really enjoy the constituent services aspect of this internship. Everyone in the state has been affected by the pandemic, and doing everything I can to help people who reach out to our office truly gives me a sense of purpose. IUPUI helped to teach me to have an open mind as it relates to people. At IUPUI, we have people from countless backgrounds, all who have different perspectives and experiences. I learned in my time on campus to listen and try to understand as many of these perspectives as I could, instead of trying to force my own beliefs on the situation. This open-mindedness has helped me evolve into more of a loving and compassionate person, and for that I am eternally grateful.”