ASU student earns prestigious Arizona Governor's Office internship

Abby Lynne at the Arizona Capitol

Abby Lynne at the Arizona State Capitol.


Internships are a staple of the college experience, and for good reason. They are an opportunity to jumpstart a student’s career and supplement their courses with hands-on experience. 

Yet securing an internship can be highly competitive — including the coveted Arizona Legislative and Government Internship Program, which offers a limited number of openings at the Arizona Supreme Court, Governor's Office and state Legislature during the spring semester. Students from Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, Grand Canyon University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University compete for the spots.

So, when ASU junior Abby Lynne found out she was selected to intern in the Office of the Governor, she knew she would gain skills that would last her a lifetime. In addition to the experience, Lynne also receives tuition and fee waivers, a stipend of approximately $5,000 and 12 undergraduate credits.  

Lynne, who plans to graduate with a double-major from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication and the School of Politics and Global Studies, said the highlight of her internship has just been seeing the inner workings of state government and all the work that a new administration puts into setting up their term for success.  

Lynne interns for the director of the Office of Boards and Commissions and helps prepare documents for the Senate confirmation process that nominees to specific boards and commissions must go through. She also schedules and sits in on interviews with candidates, creates briefing memos and manages email inquiries from constituents, board members, staff and stakeholders. 

Reflecting on her experience, Lynne said, “Everyone is always on the move, and it keeps things very exciting. It’s a great experience to see how (Arizona Gov. Katie) Hobbs' administration works and what each person’s role is. Everyone I’ve met has been so kind and willing to share what they do.” 

Hugh Downs School Internship Director Kristin Dybvig-Pawelko said many of the skills students need for this internship are taught in the school. 

“Students selected for this program must have excellent written and oral communication skills, and the ability to work independently or as part of a team,” Dybvig-Pawelko said. 

ASU News recently reached out to Lynne and asked her a few questions about her experience.

Question: How did you find this internship? What skills do you possess that helped you get chosen for this internship?

Answer: I heard about this internship through my friend’s mom who currently serves as a judge in the Arizona Court of Appeals and participated in the program when she was in college. Tara Lennon, the internship coordinator, was also a great resource to me and is one of the main reasons I chose to apply.

I am very outgoing and personable, which I think are two skills that helped me get chosen for this internship. I think my passion for politics and desire to get involved also helped set me apart from the other applicants. I truly care about the future of American politics, specifically in my home state of Arizona, and I think that showed in my interviews.

Q:  What was it about this internship that was of interest to you?

A:  The thing that interested me most about this internship was the possibility of working in the Governor’s Office. The thought of being able to learn from so many accomplished leaders in state politics really inspired me. I thought it was so cool that ASU gave students the opportunity to participate in such a highly competitive internship program that could result in working in the Governor’s Office, Supreme Court or the Senate.

Q:  What does your workday look like in the internship? What types of tasks do you perform?

A:  A typical day of work usually involves managing incoming applications and resumes that are submitted to the approximately 230 different boards, commissions, councils and task forces in the state; identifying and tracking vacant positions on boards; preparing approval documents for leadership; and watching Senate Committee hearings involving gubernatorial candidates needing Senate confirmation. I also manage emails and phone inquiries from constituents, board members, staff and stakeholders.

Q:  What tasks do you enjoy the most from this internship?

A:  I really enjoy meeting with different directors and members from the boards and commissions that the Governor’s Office works with. I have also been able to sit in on meetings with Gov. Hobbs, which was a very cool experience.

Q:  Has this internship influenced your ideas of what you’d like to do for a career?

A:  This internship has influenced my ideas of what I’d like to do for a career. I have always wanted to go to law school to become a lawyer, and after seeing the work of the General Counsel’s Office and how important their role is, I feel confident in pursuing that path.

Q:  What were the most valuable classes you took that helped you prepare for this internship?

A:  The most valuable classes I took for this internship were COM 225: Public Speaking, COM 407: Advanced Critical Methods in Communication, POS 315: The Supreme Court and POS 210: Political Ideologies.

Q:  What advice do you have for students who may be thinking of getting an internship?

A:  Internships are the best way to network with professionals in your desired career space and figure out what you want to do. If you get the opportunity to do an internship, I highly recommend you do so. The Arizona Legislative and Government Internship Program has been the highlight of my undergraduate career, and I am so thankful that ASU provides students with the opportunity to gain experiences and connections that will take me far into my career.

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