Interning for Pennsylvania State Representative Torren Ecker

Austin Plotica, COL ‘ 23, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Over the course of this summer, I had the pleasure of working with Pennsylvania State Representative Torren Ecker and his team serving the 193rd District of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. As his sole legislative intern for the summer, I was fortunate enough to engage in an eclectic range of work pertinent to the tasks handled by a state legislator; and, as such, I walk away from the experience with a much greater understanding of the particular nature of work undertaken by a state legislator (as well as an increase in the extent to which I can be considered qualified to pursue work as a public official).

At the beginning of my internship, I was assigned a research project on Article V of the U.S. Constitution. After reading some scholarly materials on the convention of states process (which is legitimized by Article V of the U.S. Constitution as one means by which to add amendments to the U.S. Constitution), I demonstrated to Representative Ecker that I was informed enough about the convention of states process to directly answer some of the questions that many of his constituents had about it; so, in the following weeks, I facilitated a handful of constituent meetings with the express purpose of answering the participating constituents’ questions about the convention of states process. I mention this experience, which is merely one of the interesting projects that I completed at the beginning of my internship, because I take it to be indicative of the breadth of the overall experience that I was able to walk away from my internship with; much like this experience, which contained both a scholarly aspect (research) and a practical aspect (constituent outreach), many of the experiences that I had while working with Representative Ecker were multifaceted and highly-informative .

As my internship progressed, I had the opportunity to accompany Representative Ecker to some of his meetings in Harrisburg; attend a variety of community events; meet other public officials; meet lobbyists; discuss issues in state politics with constituents; and complete more research projects on relevant policy issues. In the process of all of this, I learned quite a bit about what it takes to be a successful state legislator; not to mention, I feel that I have gained professional experience that can be applied to any type of work that I end up pursuing–political or not. As I reflect on this wonderful experience, I want to thank the generous donors who made it all possible by supporting my internship with the Career Services Summer Funding Grant.

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2022 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.

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Career Services