|Ten Questions With Lourdes Arias|
Lourdes Arias is a junior Political Science and Spanish major at Manhattanville College. She is active in many groups on campus including the Latin American Student Association, Black Student Union, and Gay-Straight Alliance. She is also a member of the softball team. This spring, however, Lourdes will be in Albany, as one of a select group of college students participating in the New York State Assembly Internship.
The Assembly offers up to 150 college students an opportunity to get involved in state government and gain firsthand knowledge of the legislative process. The Assembly Intern Committee carefully balances the experiential and the theoretical aspects of the internship.
In this Q&A, Lourdes discusses the internship and her excitement to get started this January.
How did you learn about this internship?
LA: I was looking for something I could do to help my resume, help my education and I stumbled upon this internship and it looked like a good thing to do. So I went ahead and asked Career Development about it and they said it was a great opportunity, so I applied.
What will you be doing during the internship?
LA: They pick 150 students and set up a mock assembly of the New York State Senate. We will be speaking about different issues and legislation and things like that.
Were there certain qualifications that you needed to apply?
LA: You needed at least a 3.0 GPA and you needed to show that you were involved in extracurricular activities. You had to write a policy proposal and a rebuttal.
Was writing a policy proposal something you already knew how to do or did you have to research?
LA: I did a little research, but I had already taken courses where I had to do things like that and I was pretty comfortable.
Since you are on the softball team and this is a spring internship, was it a hard decision?
LA: It was really hard, but at the end of the day this is going to help me more. It's sad to leave my teammates but this is something I have to do for myself.
Do you think your involvement at Manhattanville helped you get this internship?
LA: Yes, I've taken a lot of law courses and they are really interesting. I love all my courses and I felt that would help me even more because I have that background. I've always been interested in politics and law.
When you found out you were accepted what was it like?
LA: She called me, the woman who reviewed my application, and was like, "We love your application and we would like to have you." I was in the cafeteria and I just screamed. It was pretty emotional.
Are you excited about spending a semester in Albany?
LA: I am excited. I'm going to take a lot of pictures. I'm sure there are a lot of things to do and a lot of things to learn, so it's just a good chance to get away from my comfort level.
What are your career goals?
LA: I want to be a lawyer and maybe a politician after that.
What do you think is the biggest thing you will take away from this internship?
LA: Just learning about the whole system. It's something I eventually want to do and I just feel that I will get a lot of contacts through this internship and I will gain a lot of knowledge that I will need in the future. When I apply to law school it will look great on my resume.