Kansas Governors Internship Program- Dan Martin

Last summer I applied for a summer internship with the Governors Internship Program.  I was hoping to work policy at the Kansas Department of Agriculture but considering it was summer and legislature was not in secession that option was ruled out. Instead I was offered to work with the Kansas Water Office as a communications intern.

The Kansas Water Office (KWO) conducts water planning, policy, marketing and coordination throughout the state. They also make recommendations to the Governor and Legislature for needed legislation to ensure water policies and programs address the needs of all Kansans.

The plan for my summer was to help with the 50 year Water Vision for Kansas regarding social media and anything in relation to social media. Also as part of the Governors Internship Program, we had the opportunity to see how other agencies conducted business.

Through out the summer I helped develop social media plans to promote the Kansas Water Vision tour that was taking place across the state of Kansas in the first week of June.  Also a part of my job was to track news articles through google alerts that were in relation to the Water Vision and to collect them on a database. As the summer progressed, I was doing press releases for the Basin Advisor Committee Meetings (BAC) and the new members of the BAC. I also helped start the Water Wednesday this usually included a random fact followed by an info graph.  At times I would ask Kansas Department of Agriculture for guidance with social media, so we could build a platform for our followers on Twitter and our Facebook page.

Another part of my internship was to attend different agencies and see how they were governed and to give us broader options if any of the participants wanted to continue working for the state government. The first agency we toured was Kansas Wildlife Parks and Tourism (KWPT), the attorney from KWPT explained the different areas of the agency, after the briefing we got to shoot archery, fish and shoot shotguns for the rest of the afternoon. The next agency we toured was the Department of Corrections, we went to a women’s prison outside of Topeka where they gave us tour of the prison then had a couple of the ladies their tell their stories of how they were locked up and what their plans were after they got out. This was very insightful not really knowing anything about the Department of Corrections. The last thing we got to do before the internship was over was go to the top of the Capitol Building. It was a neat experience to look out over Kansas that high up. To conclude the internship we went to Cedar Crest (the Governors home) where we talked about our experience as interns and what we did. We were handed a certificate as well for completing the Governors internship program.

Through my experience in the Governors Internship Program, I gained great knowledge about state government and what it takes to run an agency. Going through the program has also given me an insight for my future in state politics. I would highly recommend anyone interested in state government or politics to be apart of the program. It is a great opportunity to make connections in the state from across the country.