“It’s a culminating experience, all that you’ve learned in the classroom blending with real-life politics,” is how PSU senior Jeremy Foskitt describes his internship in the New Hampshire Statehouse.
The 21 year-old Auburn, N.H. native is an intern for longtime New Hampshire Executive Councilor Ray Burton (Class of 1962), whose district encompasses more than 100 cities and towns, as well as the counties of Belknap, Carroll, Grafton, Coos, and Sullivan. That’s a lot of constituents, and helping bridge the gap between each citizen and state government is Foskitt’s main responsibility.
“My primary responsibility is to respond to emails, letters and phone calls centering on constituent requests or concerns. In a typical day, I’ll get a request to upgrade a road, install a traffic light, answer someone’s health insurance question or some other request of state government. It’s my job to follow-up these requests with the appropriate state agency,” says Foskitt.
Foskitt, a political science major, broached the possibility of an internship with his academic advisor, Dr. Michelle Fistek, who enthusiastically supported the idea. After a lengthy interview with Councilor Burton, Foskitt started a four month internship in September, spending one day a week at the statehouse. Throughout the course of the internship, Foskitt is representing the Councilor at various events around the state. Foskitt admits one of the biggest surprises he found was the reality of New Hampshire’s legendary fiscal frugality.
“I walked into the Executive Council office my first day and realized the Councilors, who are responsible for millions of dollars in state contracts and overseeing critical personnel appointments, have to share a computer. That was an eye-opening experience,” exclaimed Foskitt.
Foskitt, who also serves as a student trustee for the University System of New Hampshire,
takes his constituent service responsibility seriously.
“Responding to constituents is priority one. Ray Burton has an unparalleled record of commitment to his district, and I work hard to uphold that.”
However, the hard work has a big upside, and Foskitt realizes that, saying, “What a great experience, it’s really exciting. Councilor Burton’s concern for his constituents is genuine, people appreciate that, and it’s great to be able to help people find solutions to their concerns.”
His advice to other students contemplating an internship?
“It’s an invaluable experience, regardless of your major. The real-life experience in your career field is a great opportunity, and if you can help people while doing it, all the better.”
Foskitt will pursue a master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration after he graduates next year, and his goal is to work in higher education.
For more information, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., 603-535-2775